The Guardian reports: A huge fire has destroyed parts of the medieval souks in Aleppo, Syria, following raging battles between rebels and government troops.
The city is a Unesco world heritage site and the labyrinth of narrow alleys and shops was once a major tourist attraction and is one of Syria’s largest commercial hubs.
Over the past two months, the city, home to 2.5 million people, has become a focus of the insurgency against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, with near daily fighting and shelling.
Activists posted online videos which showed the fire around wooden doors and shops and a pall of smoke hanging over the city on Saturday.
Ahmad al-Halabi, an activist based in Aleppo, said residents were struggling to control the blaze with a limited number of fire extinguishers and low water supply: “It’s a disaster. The fire is threatening to spread to remaining shops,” he said. “It is a very difficult and tragic situation there.”