Shops razed in massive fire in Kabul

2012-12-23 23:25:17 GMT2012-12-24 07:25:17(Beijing Time)  SINA.com
Afghan police and firefighters investigate the scene of the blaze in Kabul market. (Photo/Agencies)Afghan police and firefighters investigate the scene of the blaze in Kabul market. (Photo/Agencies)
Afghan men guide firefighters through the devastation. There were no reports of any casualties as a result of the early-morning blaze. (Photo/Agencies)Afghan men guide firefighters through the devastation. There were no reports of any casualties as a result of the early-morning blaze. (Photo/Agencies)
Firefighters and local volunteers salvage goods from shops in the blaze-stricken Kabul market. (Photo/Agencies)Firefighters and local volunteers salvage goods from shops in the blaze-stricken Kabul market. (Photo/Agencies)

A huge fire razed a market in downtown Kabul yesterday, destroying hundreds of shops and forcing a nearby money exchange to evacuate, police and witnesses said.

There were no reports of any casualties in the early morning blaze which destroyed most of the cloth market's 500 shops, Kabul fire department officials said.

A fire department official speaking on condition of anonymity said an electrical short circuit was the most likely cause of the fire, which was so severe that NATO and Afghan army fire squads were called in to help.

"We are all working together to get this under control," he said.

A Kabul police official, who also spoke under condition of anonymity, said the nearby currency exchange market had to be evacuated.

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