30 Sep 2012

Historic Aleppo burning

Fires sparked by clashes between Syrian government troops and rebels raged through the medieval marketplace of Aleppo on Saturday, destroying hundreds of shops lining the vaulted passageways where foods, fabrics, perfumes and spices have been sold for centuries, activists said.

Some described the overnight blaze as the worst blow yet to a historic district that helped make the heart of Syria's largest city and commercial hub of the UNESCO world heritage site.

The souk, a labyrinth of narrow alleys lined with shops, was once a major tourist attraction, but has been the scene of near-daily firefights and shelling in recent weeks after rebels who fought their way into the city two months ago pushed toward its centre.

Activists say regime troops and snipers have taken up positions in the citadel that dominates the city.

CBC News - UNESCO