KUALA LUMPUR: Eight schoolchildren drowned in the Muar river in Malaysia’s southern Johor state, police said on Sunday, in what officials described as a “shocking” and rare tragedy. The drownings occurred on Friday after the boys, aged between 13 and 16 years, went jogging along the riverbank in Segamat district, local police chief Mohamad Kamil Sukarmi said. Three bodies were retrieved on Friday while the remaining five were pulled out late Saturday, he added. Describing the incident, Mohamed Kamil said one of the boys went for a swim in the river, close to where sand mining activities were being carried out, but got into difficulties. “Upon seeing their friend in trouble, the other seven boys jumped in to save him. Unfortunately all eight drowned,” he said.