Eight newborns die in maternity hospital fire in Algeria - state media

Algerian state media says eight newborns have died in a in the maternity wing of a hospital near the country's border with Tunisia. ENTV television and national radio reported that the fire broke out at 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) Tuesday in the hospital in the town of , 600 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of the capital.

Eight infants died in a in a neonatal hospital in Algeria's El Oued early on Tuesday, the fire service was quoted as saying on state media.

A preliminary inquiry showed an electrical short circuit caused the fire, some 633 km (395 miles) south of Algiers, it added.

Three died as a result of burns and the other five by asphyxiation, state news agency APS said.

More than 70 people, including 11 infants, 37 women and 25 hospital workers were rescued.

Health Minister Mohamed Bouraoui suspended the hospital manager and the health director of province, which borders Tunisia, state television reported.

The quality of government services has often been a cause of frustration and anger in , particularly in areas outside the capital.

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