A fire in a shopping centre in the Syrian capital Damascus killed at least 11 people early Tuesday, the interior ministry said, in one of the deadliest blazes of recent years.
Many of those killed were security guards or other staff on duty overnight in the six-storey building, civil defence director Ahmad Abbas said.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.
“Eleven people have died as a result of the fire in the La Mirada mall, and two people have been rescued,” the interior ministry said.
The fire caused “extensive material damage”, it added, ripping through stores that sold clothes, leather goods and cosmetics — many of which were highly flammable.
Fires in the Syrian capital are relatively frequent, some caused by electrical short-circuits, others by unsafe heating.