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27 Tanzanians arrested in connection with burning of schools

23 August 2016, 13:33

Dar Es Salaam - Tanzanian police said on Monday they have arrested 27 suspects in connection with the burning of six schools in the northern tourist region of Arusha.

Charles Mkumbo, the Arusha regional police commander, told a news conference the arrested suspects included teachers and students of the burnt schools.

"Teachers and students are among the arrested in the wave of a mysterious burning of school," said the regional police boss.

Mkumbo mentioned the latest victim as Winning Spirit Secondary, a private school in Arumeru district in the region.

Mkumbo ruled out sabotage behind the arson, adding they will interrogate the arrested suspects to find out what message they were trying to send through the fires.

Lowassa Secondary School in Monduli distirct was the first school to go up in flames on July 31 followed by a dormitory at Nanja Secondary School in the same district.

Before the dust had settled on the bizarre incidents, Longido Secondary School in Longido district was also torched, followed closely by Olesokoine Secondary School in Monduli district.

According to the headmaster of Nanja Secondary School, Yonah Luka Laizer, the "unfortunate incident" cost his school a loss of close to 11 million Tanzanian shillings (around 5,000 U.S. dollars).

These incidents came when neighboring Kenya was still recovering from the wave of school fires.

Kenya has witnessed more than 120 schools torched by students, with some of the students charged for arson.

The motive of the arsonists in the neighboring country was aimed at forcing the government of Kenya to suspend a slew of education reforms the Minister for Education unveiled in May to curb cheating in national examinations, which forced authorities to nullify more than 7,000 primary and secondary school examination results last year.

- Xinhua


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