Firefighters contained a huge fire in Upper Egypt’s Aswan governorate after it destroyed at least 20 shops in the early hours of Sunday and drove nearby residents to evacuate their homes.
No immediate injuries were reported, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
The market, known as Port Said Market, is located in the heart of Kom Ombo, known for its ancient temples.
Initial police reports say the fire was likely caused by a short circuit.
However, shop owners filed police reports accusing a businessman, who owns an adjacent empty plot of land, of starting the fire to clear the area and start construction on his land.
In October 2012, a similar fire erupted in a market in coastal Marsa Matrouh, injuring 12 and destroying hundreds of small shops.