Senegal to Close Islamic Schools After Fatal Fire

March 6, 2013

Senegal’s president says the government will close all Islamic schools that do not meet basic safety standards, after nine children in a Quranic school died in a fire Sunday.

Senegalese President Macky Sall said the young students, aged seven to 12, were killed in a fire in the Medina neighborhood of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.

After visiting the scene of the fire, Sall said Monday night that Quranic schools that do not meet basic standards will be closed to stop the exploitation of children. He said the young boarding students will be returned to their families.

The children who died in the fire were “talibes,” which are students under 15 who stay with their master to learn the Quran and to raise funds by begging in the streets.

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