Two fires sweep through Kurdistan Region markets on first day of Eid

Two fires swept through popular markets in the Kurdistan Region on Friday, the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two popular markets were set ablaze in the Kurdistan Region on Friday as locals celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

The first fire occurred at Erbil's Seeyaj Market during the early morning hours before sunrise. Municipal officials told the media that over 120 shops were destroyed and that the fire was initially ignited by fireworks, though it was not specified if they were being set off purposely or not.

The cause of the second fire, at the so-called Pirazhnan, or "old ladies'" market in the city of Soran, also in Erbil Province, is unknown.

A shopkeeper on the scene, however, told Kurdistan 24 that celebratory fireworks were one of the suspected causes, saying, "It could be either electrical or fireworks."

"Various kinds of shops have been damaged," he said. "Fabrics, children dresses, glasses, and cosmetics shops."

About 15 small businesses sustained damage, 7 of them completely destroyed, officials from the local Civil Defense forces told Kurdistan 24.

Fires in homes and businesses in the Kurdistan Region are often caused by faulty electrical wiring, hooked up by non-professionals and in the absence of safety standards. Where building and construction codes exist, they are routinely enforced ineffectively or not at all by local municipalities.