DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Senegal's president says the government will close all Islamic schools that do not meet basic safety standards, after nine children in a Quranic school died in a fire Sunday.
The young students, aged seven to 12, were killed in a fire in the Medina neighborhood of Senegal's capital, Dakar, said Senegalese President Macky Sall.
After visiting the scene of the fire, Sall said Monday night that Quranic schools that do not meet basic standards will be closed.
"The Quranic schools that do not meet standards will be closed to stop the exploitation of children," said Sall. "The government will identify all sites like this and will see that they are closed." He said the young boarding students will be returned to their families.
The children who died in the fire were "talibes," which are students under 15 who stay with their master to learn the Quran and to raise funds by begging in the streets.