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Fire destroys buildings in Saudi UNESCO heritage site

World | 2017-08-16 20:32:52
Fire destroys buildings in Saudi UNESCO heritage site
   Traditional coral-and-wood houses. Near the entrance to Souq al-Alawi in the al-Balad district, Jeddah. (Wikimedia Commons)
A fire destroyed three buildings in a traditional section of Jeddah, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Saudi civil defence said Wednesday.

Saudi civil defence said 60 people had evacuated their homes when the fire broke late Tuesday in Al-Balad, a historic district in the Red Sea city of Jeddah which dates back to the 8th century.

The blaze completely destroyed three buildings and seriously damaged three others, civil defence said. There were no reports of injuries.

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Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's second largest city after the capital Riyadh, is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The city is home to 19th century houses known for their Roshan, a distinctive wooden facade.

Located in Mecca province, Jeddah has long been the arrival point for pilgrims journeying to Mecca city for hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage which this year takes place next month.
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