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Nairobi fire ravages shops


Yet another mysterious fire in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, has burnt down a market complex in the Eastleigh suburb. Similar fires have recently gutted sprawling markets at Gikomba, Freemark and Kangemi in the capital.

Millions of dollars worth of goods have been lost in the recent blazes and speculation is rife that arson is to blame.

Reports said the fire began at the popular Garissa Lodge shopping complex, known as mini-Dubai, just before 10 pm on Thursday night and spread quickly through Eastleigh commercial district razing several other shops to the ground. Fire engines raced to the scene and fought the blaze before running out of water.

Police were deployed to try to prevent looting and several arrests were made.


Hundreds of people rushed to the scene trying to rescue their belongings from the flames.

"We don't know the cause of the fire, but we are economically devastated by the incident," said Amina Abdullahi Nur, who owned a small shop selling imported Italian shoes.

"I brought new a consignment for the coming Id al-Fitr, the Muslim feast marking the end of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, and Christmas period. Unfortunately I will sell nothing this year," Amina told the East African Standard newspaper.

The Eastleigh suburb is heavily populated by Somalis, and this is leading some to suggest the fire could be connected to recent clashes between Muslims and local traders over land.

A mosque and four Anglican and Roman Catholic churches were burnt down in riots, in an area in the south-east of the city known as South B, at the start of the month.


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