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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Uganda pupils die in school fire
By Will Ross
BBC News, Kampala

A fire in a boarding school in western Uganda has killed at least 13 children and destroyed the entire building.

The blaze broke out shortly after midnight in the dormitory of a primary school in the town of Fort Portal.

According to police the children who died were between the ages of seven and 13, although others report that some as young as five were among the dead.

Some children were burnt beyond recognition and parents were heard wailing as they arrived at the scene.

The dormitory at the Islamic Kabarole East Primary School accommodated 70 children.

The authorities say there was no electricity in the town at the time so the children had lit candles at night.

One of these appears to have accidentally started the fire which spread fast, destroying the entire building.

This fire is likely to raise questions over the practice of sending children as young as five to boarding school.

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