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Fire in Italy kills four Roma children

Rome, 7.2.2011 14:21, (ROMEA)

A fire at a Roma camp in the suburbs of Rome has claimed the lives of four children aged between three and eleven.

The fire broke out yesterday at 8:30 pm (1930 GMT) in Via Appia Nuova. At the time of the incident, the three boys and their sister were home alone whilst their mother was at a nearby fast food restaurant.

Firefighters tried to save the children but to no avail. According to a spokesman from the fire service, `the bodies were half burned.'

The siblings were living in a makeshift building which was part of a settlement that authorities had deemed illegal.

Such constructions are common for the thousands of Roma living in Rome and the surrounding area.

There are plans to house 6,000 Roma by the end of the year in three new, legal camps, adding to the seven already in existence. However, the city's mayor Gianni Alemanno has cited `damned bureaucracy' as slowing things down, in turn attributing the continuing existence of poor accommodation to Sunday's deaths.

As of yet, the exact cause of the fire is unknown.

Minesh Patel, AFP, HotNews.ro, Press TV
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