School­girls die in dor­mi­tory fire

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

A se­ries of ex­plo­sions, in­clud­ing sui­cide bomb­ings, rocked coastal gov­ern­ment strongholds in Syria yes­ter­day, killing more than 80 peo­ple and wound­ing 200 oth­ers, state me­dia and op­po­si­tion ac­tivists said. ISIS claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tacks.

The deadly blasts in the nor­mally quiet pro­gov­ern­ment ci­ties of Tar­tus and Jableh were the first of their kind tar­get­ing civil­ians in those ar­eas in the course of Syria’s civil war, now in its sixth year. The tar­gets in­cluded bus sta­tions and a hos­pi­tal, and marked an es­ca­la­tion in the con­flict as world pow­ers strug­gle to restart peace talks in Geneva. Sev­eral rounds of talks were held in the Swiss city ear­lier this year, al­though there was no break­through and the talks never re­ally took off.

TV re­ports said at least one sui­cide bomber fol­lowed by a car laden with ex­plo­sives tore A Spanish priest says he has given up hope that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in his par­ish of Xestoso in the north­west of the coun­try will fix the pot­holes in the roads - so he has asked for divine in­ter­ven­tion. Luis Roldan Patino cel­e­brated Mass on a pit­ted road on Sun­day and splashed holy wa­ter to bless it. Each pot­hole is now marked with a wooden through a packed bus sta­tion in Tar­tus, min­utes apart. More than 33 were killed and many in­jured in the bomb­ings.

Sep­a­rately, Syria’s SANA news agency re­ported that four ex­plo­sions rocked Jableh, south of Latakia city. The at­tacks in­cluded three rock­ets, and a sui­cide bomber at the emer­gency en­trance of the Jableh na­tional hos­pi­tal, the state me­dia said.

The co­or­di­nated and near-si­mul­ta­ne­ous at­tacks marked a ma­jor se­cu­rity breach of gov­ern­ment strongholds that have re­mained calm through­out the war. Tar­tus and Jableh are home to thou­sands of in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple from vi­o­lence-stricken ar­eas across Syria.

The bomb­ings un­leashed an im­me­di­ate back­lash against the refugees, with fam­i­lies of the vic­tims at­tack­ing IDP shel­ters. One shel­ter, Al Kar­nak, was burned down. cross on the road­side so drivers can slow down be­fore hit­ting them, he added. Roldan Patino told jour­nal­ists that “just like we can pray to the Lord for rain” he is plead­ing for divine in­ter­ven­tion to fix the road be­cause “it’s go­ing to be the only way to do that”. He said the au­thor­i­ties are “blind to the sit­u­a­tion and we feel to­tally aban­doned”. A night-time fire at a dor­mi­tory of a pri­mary school in north­ern Thai­land killed 18 girls, many of whom had been roused by a friend but went back to sleep, think­ing it was a prank, of­fi­cials and the girl who sounded the alarm said yes­ter­day. The vic­tims were be­tween five and 12 years old. Five girls were in­jured in the fire on Sun­day night. Many sur­vived by rap­pelling down from a sec­ond­floor win­dow us­ing sheets tied to­gether to form a rope. The two-storey wooden struc­ture that caught fire housed 38 girls, most of them be­long­ing to the area’s eth­nic mi­nori­ties. Fif­teen girls es­caped with­out in­juries. The cause of the fire was not im­me­di­ately known. Some of the stu­dents were still not asleep when the fire broke out and were able to raise the alarm, said Re­wat Was­sana, man­ager of the Pithakka­iat Wit­thaya School, to which the dorm is at­tached. The kin­der­garten and pri­mary school in Wiang Pa Pao district, just out­side the city of Chi­ang Rai, has about 400 day stu­dents and board­ers. It is about 800km north of the cap­i­tal Bangkok. Re­wat said the fire broke out in the dorm’s lower level, which is used for ac­tiv­i­ties. The up­per level housed the sleep­ing quar­ters. It is one of the two dorms in the eight-hectare school grounds.

DEADLY: In­side the fire-rav­aged dorm at the school

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