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School dormitory fire kills at least 24

At least 24 people, mostly teenage boys, have died after being trapped in a burning Islamic school dormitory.

Locals on the outskirts of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur described being unable to save the boys as they begged for help from behind barred windows.

 Firefighters were called to the three-storey building at around 5.40am local time on Thursday and took an hour to put out the blaze.

Suspected to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit or a lit mosquito repellent coil, the fire broke out in the sleeping quarters on the school’s top floor.

The blaze began near the door of the dormitory – the only entrance – which along with the window grills, left the students unable to escape, according to fire officials.

Police found at least 24 charred bodies among blackened bunks, 22 of them boys aged 13 to 17, and two teachers.

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