Burma Mosque Blaze Kills 13 Children

Residents fear Rangoon blaze linked to sectarian violence

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 2, 2013 3:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – Burma's biggest city is on edge after a fire engulfed a mosque compound, killing at least 13 schoolchildren. Authorities blamed the fire on electrical problems but angry Muslim residents of the Rangoon neighborhood believe the fire is related to the sectarian violence that has killed at least 40 people over the last two weeks, the AP reports. Mobs of Buddhist extremists have attacked mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in other parts of the country. The compound sheltered around 75 orphans, and the children struggled to escape when the fire broke out because the dormitory doors had been locked owing to the recent tensions, the BBC reports.

Red Cross workers and local Muslims gather outside a mosque after a fire broke out in Rangoon, Burma today.
Red Cross workers and local Muslims gather outside a mosque after a fire broke out in Rangoon, Burma today.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Police officers stand guard outside a mosque following a fire in Rangoon, Burma today.
Police officers stand guard outside a mosque following a fire in Rangoon, Burma today.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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