Fire Engulfs Hundreds of Shops in Kabul's Main Commercial District
 
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Kabul's main commercial district, Mandawi, was engulfed in a fire overnight that destroyed about 600 stores and inflicted millions of dollars of damage, officials said.

The incident happened Saturday night at about 11:00 PM, Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said.

Desperate shopkeepers, many of whom had rushed out of bed, scrambled to their shops to salvage their wares but were prevented by the police from entering the burning buildings.

Firefighters rushed to the scene soon after the fire was reported, but struggled to control the conflagration, which continued until Sunday morning. Smoke is still billowing from the marketplace.

Gen. Salangi said that the fire was caused by shopkeeper neglect and that there were no reports of casualties.

Kabul police says that they have started investigating the incident.

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