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Four children die in fire in northern Vietnam

DATELINE: HANOI, Vietnam - December 27, 2000, Wednesday

Four ethnic Hmong children, aged nine to 14, were killed when the hut they were staying in burned down in the northern province of Son La, police said Wednesday.

The bodies of two boys and two girls from four different families were badly burned in the Saturday night blaze, said police chief Dinh Van Truong of Phu Yen district, 105 miles northeast of Hanoi.

Truong said the children had been sleeping in the hut where they tended chickens raised by one child's family when it caught on fire. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.

Two hunters saw the burning hut and ran to inform villagers in the commune one mile away, Truong said. When the villagers arrived the hut had already burned down.