Not less than 25 primary school children have been killed when their thatched-roof classrooms caught fire in southern Niger Republic on Monday, the country’s Council of Ministers said in a statement.
The Council of Ministers also said that following the incident and another which occurred in April. pre-school classes must not be held in straw-roof huts.
The statement added that 14 children were also injured in the inferno, including five who are in critical condition.
The school is located in the town of Maradi, close to its border with Katsina State in Nigeria, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) east of the capital Niamey.
Confirming the incident, the Regional Director of Education, Maman Hadi said:
“For the moment, we cannot state the origin of the fire.
“For now, classes have been suspended and three days of mourning declared in Maradi,” he said.
This is the second time this year that a fire has killed pupils in their classrooms in the impoverished West African country. In April, 20 preschool children were killed when a fire gutted their school in Niamey.
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