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Children set alight at nursery school in Brazil

Seven people have died and dozens of others are hurt, including 15 seriously, in an attack which has horrified the nation.


Six children and a teacher have died after a security guard at their nursery school sprayed them with alcohol and set them on fire, said emergency services.

Around 50 people were injured, 15 of them seriously, as the blaze ripped through the Innocent People nursery in Janauba, southeastern Brazil.

The nursery school had about 70 pupils and the victims were two girls and four boys, all aged four, according to local media.

One of the victims was Ana Clara Ferreira Silva, and her twin brother Victor told the Globo news website that they had enjoyed watching Peppa Pig together on TV.

Her father Nelson de Jesus Silva said: "My daughter was very special, smart."

He added: "I do not know what goes on in a person’s head to do this.

"I surrender to God.

"I’m not going to let them continue in day care, my children are all small and have no defence of anything."

The teacher killed was named as Helley Abreu Batista, 43, who suffered burns to 90% of her body.

The guard was identified as Damiao Soares dos Santos, 50, who had worked at the nursery school since 2008.

He was taken to hospital, suffering from burns, and later died.

Police have been to his home and visited friends and relatives in an effort to understand his motive.

He was reported to have mental health issues.

The attack has shocked the nation.

The mayor of Janauba, a city of about 70,000 in Minas Gerais state, has declared seven days of mourning.

Brazil’s President Michel Temer said: "I am deeply saddened by this tragedy involving children in Janauba, and I want to express my solidarity with the families."

Mr Temer said that, as the father of a school-age child, he understood "this must be an extremely painful loss" for the parents.

Sharon Mutoni

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