COLOMBO – Over 100 shops were destroyed in a major fire overnight in Kilinochchi, in north Sri Lanka, local police said on Saturday. China’s Xinhua News Agency reports that the fire, in a former war zone, was brought under control by the police with the assistance of the army.
Fruit stalls and textile shops were among those destroyed in the fire, which was believed to be caused by an electrical short-circuit.
The fire spread rapidly across the temporary shelters as strong winds made it difficult for the authorities to bring the situation under control.
The stores were set up following the end of the war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military in 2009. The owners were just getting back on their feet when the fire destroyed all that they had.
The store owners had in the past appealed for a permanent structure to be erected for the stores to operate, but the appeal fell in deaf ears.
Kilinochchi was under Tamil Tiger rebels’ control before they were defeated in the war in 2009. – BERNAMA