Authorities say three young Gypsy children have died in a fire in a small wooden shack that has been their home on the outskirts of Belgrade.

The Serbian capital's emergency service says the children aged five, seven and nine died in the blaze that broke out in the Gypsy settlement at around 1 a.m. local time Friday. It did not identify the children or say what caused the fire.

There are an estimated 500,000 Gypsies — many resettled during the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s — living in Serbia, or about 7 percent of the population.

Gypsies, or Roma, who mostly live in segregated, makeshift settlements throughout Serbia, have often faced harassment by far-right groups.