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Woman held over Australia quarantine hotel fire

Australian police said on Sunday (November 28) they expect to charge a woman with arson after she allegedly set fire to the hotel where she and her two children were quarantined.

No one was injured in the fire, which gutted much of the 11th floor of the Pacific Hotel Cairns, police said. More than 100 people were evacuated from the quarantine facility.

The incident in Cairns, Queensland, occurred as tensions rose in parts of Australia as a result of coronavirus restrictions and the latest scare caused by the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Acting Chief Superintendent Chris Hodgman said the 31-year-old woman was in custody and police were caring for her children.

He said the woman had been in quarantine for a couple of days and there had been issues with her that authorities were, quote, "managing".

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