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Fire at Islamic school in Yangon kills 13 boys

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 01:18

April 2 - A fire at an Islamic school kills 13 boys in Myanmar's capital Yangon. Sarah Toms reports.

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A deadly blaze has killed 13 children at a Muslim school in Myanmar's capital - Yangon. For now, authorities are blaming an electrical fault for the fire. Bystanders say the children were locked inside because of safety concerns after a recent wave of violence between Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar, killing 43 people. (SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) BYSTANDER YE NAUNG THEIN SAYING: "These children are about 13 and 14 years old. They died because they couldn't jump out of the windows, which were closed by iron bars. Officials suggest the fire started near the stairs where the electric regulator is located." The children, all boys, suffocated after the fire broke out in the early hours in a dormitory of the school next to a mosque. Police say they are still investigating what started the fire. (SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL MYINT AUNG SAYING: "We extinguished the fire this morning, but we don't know the root cause of it yet, but there are a lot of rumours coming out and concern over this." Riot police have been deployed to the area, as people gathered nearby amid rumours that the fire could be linked to ethnic and religious tensions.

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Fire at Islamic school in Yangon kills 13 boys

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 01:18