Kenyan school fire that killed nine pupils was arson - Education minister

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Fire burns down dormitory at Moi Girls high school in Kenyan capital, killing eight teenage girls and injuring 10 others.

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A statement from his office on Saturday evening said the death toll had risen from seven to eight. "It is our hope that the government will quickly conduct investigations and share findings with the public on the cause of the fire as that will be critical to helping the parents and students cope with the loss", Raila said.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed. I slept in the one adjacent to where the fire started.

They were angry that he had been collecting money from their parents for three years for a school bus, but had not bought it.

"Her teacher called to inform us about the fire and they have since offered support in terms of guidance and counselling", she said.

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"Police have assured us that there are very useful leads in the direction of specific suspects and we will know in due course who these suspects are", said Matiangi, who is also acting interior minister.

Matiang'i said that there had been a spate of arson attacks on schools around the country, including in the coastal city of Mombasa and the western city of Kisumu.

Tasha Wanjala, 14, is lucky to have escaped the death chamber that was the burning dormitory at Moi Girls' High School. "It is not right", he said in a televised press conference.

"Some of the fires we have faced before in the sector are related to that kind of thing, politicization of school headship, politicization of responsibility in the education sector".

Kenya is East Africa's largest economy but unemployment is high and corruption is rife, making life hard for many ordinary people. We heard the students in that cubicle screaming and we went there and tried to stop the fire, but it was spreading very fast and so we chose to run outside.

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