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A doll and candles are placed during a protest to demand justice for the victims of a fire at the Virgen de Asuncion children's shelter, in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City, Guatemala, March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Martinez

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GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - The number of girls who died after a fire at a Guatemala children's shelter rose to 39 on Saturday, with several still in critical condition after one of the country's worst tragedies in recent years.

Authorities at the Roosevelt Hospital in the capital Guatemala City, said two girls died on Saturday from grave burn injuries from Wednesday's fire at the government-run shelter for abuse victims, young offenders and children with disabilities.

The case has been a scandal in Guatemala, especially after it emerged that the girls had been locked in a classroom after an escape attempt at the home. The girls set mattresses on fire to try to call someone's attention.

Thousands protested against the government in the streets of Guatemala City on Saturday, reading the names and ages of the dead girls.

(Reporting by Bill Barreto; Editing by David Gregorio)

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