Niger fire kills at least 25 children at school

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Two dead bodies were pulled from the rubble on Sunday More than 20 children are thought to have died in a fire at a school in Niger on…

Niger fire kills at least 25 children at school

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Two dead bodies were pulled from the rubble on Sunday

More than 20 children are thought to have died in a fire at a school in Niger on Saturday.

Niger state police said at least 25 children were killed in the blaze at the village of Harbena, 300km (185 miles) south-east of the capital Niamey.

Police spokesperson Omar Mohammed said no official toll had been given because medical experts were still working in the building.

The children’s school is said to have been converted into a hospital.

It was not clear what caused the fire at the Dobergarten Community School.

Mr Mohammed said most of the casualties were children aged between three and 10 years old.

“Five girls, aged between nine and 10, and three boys, aged seven and eight, were burnt to death,” Reuters news agency quoted Mr Mohammed as saying.

Two bodies were pulled from the rubble on Sunday, he added.

The building was set up as a hospital when villagers were hit by a diphtheria epidemic in the 1990s, according to Niger state radio.

Large numbers of people have been displaced by recent flooding, and have been living in government camps.

Niger has the second largest population of nomadic Tuareg people in the world, after the two-million strong populations of the Central African Republic and Chad.

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