A massive fire tore through the main market in the city of Hargeisa in Somaliland overnight, destroying hundreds of businesses, officials said on Saturday.
Reports say nobody has died though 28 people including nine women were injured.
It started on Friday evening but was largely brought under control by dawn on Saturday.
The cause of the blaze that gutted the sprawling Waheen market – the lifeblood of the city and home to an estimated 2,000 shops and stalls – is not yet known, reported AFP news agency.
“The town has never witnessed such a massive calamity,” the city’s mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Moge told reporters.
“This place was the economic centre of Hargeisa and even though the firefighters did their best to contain the fire, the market is destroyed.”
The fire happened just a few hours after the month of Ramadan began, when food business traditionally booms.
Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said the fire had destroyed goods worth millions of dollars.
The government would be releasing $1m to help with the emergency response to the disaster, he said.
Ethiopian delegation led by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and accompanied by Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges visited Hargeisa on Saturday afternoon and shared Ethiopia’s “support and solidarity” to neighbouring Somaliland.
Featured Image caption: Dramatic photos of the aftermath of the blaze were posted by journalist Fahad Karie [Photo Fahad Karie]
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