efe-epaBangkok Desk

Malaysian police have arrested seven juvenile suspects of having torched a religious school in what appeared to be an act of revenge, local media reported Sunday.

The fire broke out at a Muslim school in Keramat, northeastern Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday, killing 23 people, including teachers and students.

The arrests of the suspects, who are boys aged between 11 and 18 and live in the neighborhood where the school is located, were made on Friday and Saturday.

Police chief Amar Singh said during a press conference Saturday the fire was allegedly caused by the group following a fight that took place earlier with other students.

Security camera footage led to the arrests of the seven boys, of whom two have had a criminal record and six were tested positive for marijuana consumption.

The fire started shortly before dawn at the Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah school before it engulfed the premises.

Police learned that the perpetrators had placed two butane gas canisters on the second story, which helped spread the fire rapidly.

Twelve students and two teachers survived the fire.