Afghanistan: Fire sweeps through Kabul market

  • Published
Media caption,

The BBC's Bill Sarwary in Kabul says smoke is still rising from the scene

At least 600 shops have been destroyed by a fire which swept through a market in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

No-one was injured in the blaze but the fire destroyed much of the goods on sale and forced traders to flee, says the BBC's Bilal Sarwary in the city.

Kabul's main money exchange, which is located within the market, was evacuated before the fire reached it.

The blaze was tackled by Afghan firefighters and police, as well as Nato forces.

The market is located less than a kilometre from the presidential office and several key Afghan ministries and is normally crowded during the day, says our correspondent.

As the fire approached the money market, traders moved hundreds of thousands of dollars to safety in waiting police vans. Shopkeepers also removed their stocks of gold from the nearby gold market.

There was no indication the fire had been caused by a bomb attack.

Kabul's police chief said the watchman who had been guarding the market had disappeared.

Gen Ayub Salangi told the BBC his officers were looking for the man.

The emergency services say it is possible the fire may reignite, and so they are keeping a close watch, our correspondent reports.