7 boys arrested for Islamic school fire
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian police said Saturday they have arrested seven boys suspected of intentionally starting a fire at an Islamic boarding school that killed 23 people because students there had teased them.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh said the boys, aged 11 to 18, were rounded up since Friday night after being identified in CCTV footage from a building showing them near the school the night of the fire.
The pre-dawn blaze Thursday at a three-story “tahfiz” school, where Muslim boys study and memorize the Quran, blocked the lone exit to the dormitory on the top floor, trapping students behind barred windows. Two adults and 21 students, aged between 6 and 17, were killed.
“From our investigation, the motive behind the mischief was due to a misunderstanding after the suspects and some tahfiz students mocked each other a few days before the fire,” Singh said at a news conference.
Singh said six of the seven suspects tested positive for drugs.