Egyptian man ‘set fire to school because fiancee failed exams’

Suspect, 21, who is now in custody, told police he feared bride-to-be's academic failure would lead to wedding being postponed

FYPMD7 Firemen using water hose on raging fire
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Egypt’s prosecutor general has announced that a man was arrested in Menoufia province, north of Cairo, after investigations into a school fire in the nearby province of Gharbia found he had started it.

The 21-year-old is currently in police custody. He reportedly burnt down the school’s control room after he learnt his fiancee, a pupil there, would fail this year.

No one was injured or killed in the blaze, a prosecutors' statement said.

After the arrest, the suspect told police that he feared his wedding would be postponed because his fiancee would probably have to repeat the school year.

The man will remain in detention until the case is referred to the relevant court.

Although the blaze was quickly contained by firefighters, it caused significant damage to the school principal’s office and the main administration unit. Some pupils' records were destroyed, the prosecution statement said.

After allegedly setting the control room on fire, the young man was said to have fled the scene to hide out in his home village. But witnesses of the fire, who told police they had previously seen him in the area, described his appearance in detail and informed authorities of where he lived.

Social media commentary on the incident has largely involved disbelief that the suspect allegedly went to such great lengths so his wedding could go ahead.

The fire comes after a string of unrelated blazes that recently took place at various churches across Egypt, the worst of which was at Abu Seifein church in Giza, which left 41 dead and 14 injured.

Updated: August 23, 2022, 12:15 PM