At least 25 children were killed when a dormitory in Niger collapsed on Saturday, and 44 were injured in the disaster, officials said.
Villagers alerted authorities after they heard children screaming at the remote location of the dormitory, located in a region considered to be home to jihadist fighters, Lt. Oumar Manginte, a spokesman for Niger’s security services, told Reuters.
“The house collapsed on the sleeping children and at least 25 died,” he said.
Some of the injured were taken to hospitals in Niamey, the capital, others were taken to the region of Aouarbi, 200 km away, while others were being moved to Niamey, Manginte said.
Manginte did not say why the dormitory collapsed or who was responsible for it.
Niger has been hit by nearly a dozen suicide bombings in the past six months, which local experts say are usually blamed on Boko Haram fighters. The bombers have crossed into Niger from neighbouring Nigeria.
On Friday evening, five people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a police station in the northwest of the country. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.