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You're reading: Fighting in Aleppo starts fire in medieval souks

BEIRUT — Syrian activists say raging firefights between government forces and rebels in the historic districts of central Aleppo have started a major fire in the city's medieval souks, or markets.

The covered souks, some of the Middle East’s largest, were once a major tourist attraction.

Rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad launched Thursday an offensive to drive his forces out of Syria’s largest city and commercial hub.

Aleppo-based activist Ahmad al-Halabi estimates the blaze destroyed a majority of the shops in the district overnight. He said some were still on fire.

The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights and other activists also reported Saturday that part of the souks were on fire. A video posted online showed smoke covering Aleppo, said to be a result of the bazaar fire.

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