At least 25 people, most of them students, are dead after an early-morning fire at a religious school in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, officials say.
The fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah was reported about 5.40am Thursday local time (9.40am NZT), according to a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.
The Islamic "tahfiz" boarding school, where students learn to memorise the Koran, is in the Jalan Datuk Keramat area of the city.
The blaze began in the sleeping quarters on the top floor of the three-storey school building, the statement said.
Two wardens and 23 students died in the fire, fire department officials said in a notice put on a whiteboard at the school. Seven people were taken to a nearby hospital for injuries, while 11 others were rescued, the notice said.
Tahfiz schools usually teach students between the ages of five and 18.
Such schools, which are unregulated by the country's education ministry and instead fall under its religious department, have been under scrutiny since earlier this year, when an 11-year-old boy died after reported abuse in the state of Johor.
More than 200 fires have broken out in Malaysian religious schools since 2015.
In 1989, 27 students were killed in a fire at a girls' hostel in the province of Kedah.
- Reuters / RNZ