Guatemalan authorities say a mob has lynched a man inside a school for allegedly killing two children there.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla says Julio Saquil was drunk when he entered an elementary school in the northern province of Alta Verapaz on Wednesday and slit the throats of two children with a machete.

Bonilla says a mob then set the 35-year-old man on fire in the school's patio and he burned to death.

The official says the bodies of the children had defensive wounds.

Lynch mobs are not uncommon in areas of Guatemala where police are scarce. The Central American country's human rights agency says 234 attempted lynchings took place in 2011 and at least 40 people were killed.