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Aleppo's Souk In Flames As Battles Rage

Reports say a blaze has swept though Aleppo's medieval market, as rebels and government forces seek to gain control of Syria's largest city.

Amateur video posted on the Internet showed flames engulfing wooden doors as burning debris fell away from the storefronts.

Activists said at least 700 shops in the covered souk, one of the best-preserved old souks in the Middle East, have been destroyed.

UNESCO, which recognizes Aleppo's Old City as a world heritage site, described the damage as a tragedy.

Reports said the fire, believed to have been triggered by shelling and gunfire, erupted late on September 28 but was still burning a day later.

The fires come on the third day of a major rebel offensive in Aleppo.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and the BBC

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