MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A huge fire engulfed Somali capital's main market, killing at least two people, a Somali police officer said Monday.
The overnight inferno started at the gold bazaar and winds spread it rapidly through the market, razing large buildings, shops and food stores, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.
Firefighters eventually put out the fire which sent hundreds of people fleeing across the streets of Somali capital's commercial hub.
The cause of the fire remains unclear but market traders blamed an electrical fault. The store owners reported a huge loss of properties due to the fire, which sent plumes of smoke into the air.
Mogadishu's mayor, Sheikh Yusuf Hussein, visited the burned-out marketplace and said that firefighters were hampered by the market's narrow streets. The government will help businessmen recover property losses from the fire, he said.
Somalia's capital has a small fire brigade which must respond to numerous fires in the city, which is recovering from decades of war.