Qatar orders arrest of mall owner, others over deadly fire

Qatar has ordered the arrest of five people involved in the management of a Doha shopping mall ravaged by a fire in which 19 people, mainly children, were killed, the state news agency reported.

The report late Tuesday said that Qatar's Attorney General, Ali bin Futeis Al-Murri, has "ordered the arrest of the Villagio mall owner ... its manager and its deputy manager."

It said that warrants had also been issued for the arrests of deputy director of mall security and for the owner of the Gympanzee nursery on the first floor which bore the brunt of the fire and where 13 children and four teachers died.

The report did not specify if any charges have been filed against any of the five.

The report of arrest orders came hours after relatives and friends bade a tearful farewell to the victims of Monday's tragic inferno at a moving ceremony.

New Zealand triplets and three Spanish siblings were among the 13 children killed in the fire. Two firefighters also died while trying to evacuate the nursery.

Newspapers in the Gulf state, meanwhile, posed questions over the licensing of the nursery in the middle of the huge mall, while witnesses at the scene accused mall employees of not acting fast enough when the fire erupted.

Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has ordered a commission to investigate the tragedy, the Doha-based Al-Jazeera television reported.

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