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Fire at China martial arts centre kills 18, mostly children

BEIJING: A fire tore through a martial arts training centre in China during the early hours of Friday morning, killing 18 people, with one state media outlet saying most of the dead were children who were staying there. The blaze broke out at 3 a.m. (1900 GMT Thursday) and was later extinguished, the government of Zhecheng county, in Henan province, said on its website. It was unclear what caused the fire, which injured 16 people, four of whom were in serious condition, it said.

Most of the casualties were students aged between 7 and 16 staying on the centre’s second floor, the Beijing Youth Daily said in a report that was later deleted from its website.

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