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Third blaze in a week at Beirut… Fire erupts at a shopping centre..

Beirut: A fire broke out in a downtown Beirut building near the city’s port where an explosion last month killed nearly 200 people, wounded thousands and left the city’s residents in disaster. It was not clear what caused the fire in one of the city’s best-known buildings that was the work of the late Iraq-born British architect, Zaha Hadid.

The oval-shaped building was still under construction and sits on the main road that passes by the port. A civil defence official said they extinguished the fire, adding that an investigation will be opened. There were no immediate reports of injuries. “We received a call that there is a fire near Majidieh mosque. When we first arrived the fire was very strong. This is a building under construction known as the oval building in Beirut’s markets,” said a member of the fire brigade department.

It was the third fire in the area within a week following two recent fires at the port of Beirut, including a huge one on Thursday that raised panic among residents. Another blaze earlier this month was extinguished quickly. The causes of those fires are unclear. Beirut’s residents are still shaken by the fire that led to an enormous blast on August 4, killing nearly 200 people, injuring 6,500 and causing damage worth billions of dollars. The explosion of around 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port for six years also left a quarter of a million people homeless.

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