Myanmar jails two imams for school blaze that fanned religious tensions

YANGON (AFP) - Two imams in Myanmar have been sentenced to eight years in prison for negligence over a fire at a religious school that killed 13 boys, state media said on Saturday.

Around 70 children, some orphans, were sleeping in dormitories at the school inside a mosque complex in Yangon when the blaze broke out in April 2013.

A court in Yangon said in its ruling on Friday that the fire was caused by overheating of an electrical regulator and that the door of the school was locked, according to the New Light of Myanmar newspaper. The victims died of suffocation when they were unable to escape.

The tragedy fanned religious tensions in the country following a wave of deadly Buddhist-Muslim unrest, but the authorities were quick to rule out arson.

The two defendants plan to launch an appeal, the report said.

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