House fire kills seven children in UAE

DUBAI (Reuters) - A house fire killed seven children on Monday near the eastern city of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, the education ministry said in a statement.

The victims from the Rabia family ranged from kindergarten age to the eighth grade, the ministry added on its official Twitter page.

Gulf News, a UAE newspaper, quoted a local police and civil defense officials saying that their mother reported the fire at dawn and though the cause of the blaze remained unknown, a short-circuit was suspected.

A tourism and trade hub, the UAE has suffered several high-profile fires among its trademark high-rise buildings in recent years, few of which caused deaths.

“We have today instructed the state’s civil defense to ensure immediately that all necessary fire protection systems are in place in all citizens’ homes”, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, said in a tweet.

Relatively poorer than fellow emirates Dubai and Abu Dhabi, mountainous Fujairah sits astride the Indian Ocean on the country’s East coast.

Reporting by Noah Browning, editing by Ed Osmond