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Cairo: Two Egyptian children died after their mother threw them from the fourth floor of their house near the Egyptian capital before she jumped herself in an apparent suicide attempt, police said Saturday.

The 33-year-old woman, a schoolteacher, suffered serious fractures and was transferred to a local hospital in critical condition, they added.

The two children, aged four and six, were found lying dead below the house in the city of Qaliubia north of Cairo, eyewitnesses said.

“I saw the woman throwing the two girls from the fourth-floor balcony and then she jumped after them," one witness said, according to private newspaper Al Masri Al Youm.

The mother’s family said she was psychologically ill and had been admitted to a local mental asylum in the past, according to the paper.

Prosecutors ordered autopsies on the bodies of the two children to determine the cause of their death before permitting their burial.

In recent years, Egyptian media reported a rise in family killings in the country.

Last March, a criminal court sentenced a doctor to death by hanging after he was convicted of killing his wife and three children in the Nile Delta province of Kafr Al Shaikh