Qatar orders arrests over Villaggio Mall fire tragedy

Warrants issued for mall and nursery owners, mall managers and the deputy head of mall security

Qatar has ordered the arrest of five people involved in the management of a Doha shopping mall that caught fire on May 28, 2012, causing the death of 19 people, including 13 children, it was announced on Tuesday.

A report by Qatar’s State News Agency said that the country’s Attorney General, Ali bin Futeis Al Murri, had ordered the arrest of the VIllaggio Mall owner, its manager and deputy manager.

Warrants have also been issued for the arrests of the deputy director of mall security and the owner of the Gympanzee nursery, which bore the brunt of the fire and where the children and four teachers died.

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

News of the arrest came hours after funeral services for the victims of Monday’s inferno.

Both international and national media have pointed fingers at the mall’s owners and management, accusing them of negligence and a lack of adequate fire safety systems.

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

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