Hundreds of small retail shops were destroyed early Sunday morning when a fire ripped through a large outdoor market in Egypt's coastal Masra Matrouh governorate.
Fire-fighters who arrived at the market – commonly known as the 'Libya Market' – failed to extinguish the blaze before it spread through scores of adjacent shops.
Security officials have blamed the fire on faulty electrical wiring. A number of shop owners, however, say the fire erupted after a shopkeeper attempted to burn a pile of garbage.
No one was killed in the conflagration, although authorities have reported at least 12 injuries.
It is estimated that fire caused some LE10 million in property damage.
According to presidential spokesman Yasser Ali, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has instructed Marsa Matrouh Governor Ahmed Helmy to take 'any measures necessary' to help the injured.
The Libya Market is Marsa Matrouh's largest shopping area.