Over 50 police officers are working with “lots of leads” in a “very active” double murder investigation after two men were fatally stabbed in Leytonstone on the weekend, the lead detective revealed today.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Attewell told the Guardian that no arrests have been made yet as police continue to work to establish the identities and motives of at least five suspects.

Aaron Carriere, 21, and Josiah Manful, 20, were fatally stabbed in Montague Road in the early hours of Saturday morning by a group of attackers reported to have been wielding knives and baseball bats.

Police say there is no information to suggest further incidents will occur in the area but there are extra patrols taking place to minimise any tension, DCI Attewell said.

“What I can tell you is that Josiah and Aaron were in a black Ford Fiesta in Montague Road and, for some reason or another, the car came to a stop where several suspects attacked the car from both sides, stabbing both men several times,” he added.

Both men, reported to be active churchgoers and confirmed by police to be Leytonstone residents, were pronounced dead at the scene.

DCI Attewell would not say whether he thought the men were targeted or the attack was random but he added that work is ongoing to establish whether the incident was isolated or not.

Police continue to seek witnesses, monitor CCTV footage and carry out house-to-house enquiries.

An “anniversary appeal” will be held on Saturday when police will be in the Montague Road area around 1am, the time of the murder, to appeal for witnesses.

Anyone who witnessed the event, or who may know why the men were murdered and who is responsible, is urged to come forward.

“We’re doing as much as we can to reassure the community and make sure things get back to normal,” DCI Attewell added.

He would not say whether investigations are restricted to Waltham Forest but he did say there is an “awful lot” of work taking place in Leytonstone to identify the attackers.

A post mortem gave Mr Carriere’s cause of death as stab wounds to the neck while Mr Manful, a former student of Buxton School in Cann Hall Road, died from shock, haemorrhaging and stab wounds to the chest.