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MALAYSIA: 7 boys arrested in connection with deadly boarding school inferno that killed 23 people



Seven boys aged between aged 11 to 18 have been rounded up by Malaysia police in connection with a deadly fire that engulfed a religious boarding school in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur four days ago.

Police investigations reveal that there was teasing between the pupils and the suspects days before the fire that killed 23 people, including 21 pupils in the premises of the boarding school.

According to Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh, the boys were arrested after they were identified in CCTV footage from a neighbouring building that showed them near the school on the night of the fire.

The pre-dawn blaze on Thursday at the three-story Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah “tahfiz” school blocked the lone exit to the dormitory on the top floor, trapping students behind barred windows. Two adults and 21 students, aged between 6 and 17, were killed.

Read also: MALAYSIA: 24 feared dead in Islamic boarding school fire

“From our investigation, the motive behind the mischief was due to a misunderstanding after the suspects and some tahfiz students mocked each other a few days before the fire,” Singh said during a televised news conference.

Singh said six of the seven suspects tested positive for drugs. Two of them had been detained before, one on charges of vehicle theft, another for rioting, he added.

According to a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, the outbreak which ravaged the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, a “tahfiz” boarding school for boys where students learn to memorise the Koran, was reported around 5.40 a.m.. local time (2140 GMT Wednesday).


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