School fire kills 25 children in Niger

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At least 25 primary school children have been killed after their thatched-roof classrooms caught fire in southern Niger.

Fourteen more children were injured, including five who remain in a critical condition, a statement from the country's council of ministers said.

The school is in Maradi, the nation's second-largest city, more than 600km east of the capital Niamey.

"For the moment we cannot state the origin of the fire," regional director of education Maman Hdi said.

Classes have been suspended and three days of mourning declared in Maradi, he said.

It was the second time this year a fire has killed pupils in their classrooms in the West African country.

Twenty preschool children were killed in April in Niamey.

The council of ministers said on Monday that following the two incidents, preschool classes must not be held in straw-roof huts.

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