Niamey, Niger (Reuters) — At least 25 primary school children were killed when their thatched-roof classrooms caught fire in southern Niger on Monday, the Council of Ministers said in a statement.
Another 14 children were injured, five of them in critical condition, according to the statement.
The school is located in the city of Maradi, more than 600 kilometers east of the capital, Niamey.
“At the moment we cannot confirm the origin of the fire,” said regional director of education Maman Hdi.
Classes have been suspended and three days of mourning have been declared in Maradi, he said.
It is the second time this year that a fire has killed students in their classrooms in the West African country. Twenty preschool children died in April in Niamey.
The Council of Ministers declared on Monday that, after the two incidents, preschool classes should not be held in thatched-roof huts.