Escaped python kills two young children in Canada

MONTREAL, Quebec (AFP) - An escaped python killed two children in their sleep in eastern Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Monday.

The two young boys, aged five and seven, were sleeping in at a friend's apartment late Sunday in the small town of Campbellton when they were surprised by the snake. It had escaped from a pet store that specialised in exotic animals located on the ground floor of the building.

"The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a large exotic snake had escaped its enclosure at the store sometime overnight, and got into the ventilation system, then into the upstairs apartment," police said in a statement.

"It's believed the two boys were strangled by the snake." The python had been recaptured and was being held by police, the statement added.