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At least 26 children and two teachers died Wednesday in a fire at a Koranic school in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, said the spokesman for the country's presidency.

Rescue services "told the president there were 28 fatalities," said Solo Kelgbeh, spokesman for President George Weah . "There are only two adults among the victims, two teachers."

Family members who came looking for news of their children, piled up this Wednesday morning around the one-story building, yellow and green, which houses a school and a boarding school and whose sheet metal roof caught on fire, an AFP correspondent confirmed .

The children were surprised while they slept, said Amadu Sherrif, a leader of the Peule community where, according to him, the drama took place. Sheriff explained that he had been called at night and had realized 37 dead children and two survivors. However, this balance was not confirmed.

President George Weah visited Paynesville, a suburb of Monrovia. "My prayers are for the families of children who died last night in Paynesville in their school fire," the Liberian president tweeted. "This is a difficult time for the families of the victims and for all of Liberia," he added.

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