ARGEEN, NORTHERN STATE –
An extensive fire consumed an as yet unspecified number of shops, businesses, and homes in and around the Argeen crossing market on the border between Sudan’s Northern State and Egypt on Saturday afternoon.
A witnesses who spoke to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said that the fire broke out in the western part of the market and destroyed a large number of shops and kiosks, as well as housing sites for customs agents’ assistants and freight and unloading workers. Argeen lies on the western shore of Lake Nubia, some 20 kilometres north-west of Wadi Halfa, and less than 500 metres from the border with Egypt.
The witness added that the fire brigade responded from the Egyptian side. “They rushed to put out the fire and did not report any loss of life”.
Another source at Argeen crossing told SUNA that the fire, that began during the preparations for Iftar, the traditional breaking of the fast of Ramadan, was spread quickly by winds in the area to destroy a large number of residential and commercial sites. The spread was accelerated as most of the shops are attached with traditional shelters made of wood.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, a fire that broke out in the village of Muqaisim El Mahboub in West Kordofan on March 18, destroyed 12 houses, including extensive property and crops, and causing the displacement of all affected families.
Community leaders have appealed to humanitarian organisations to assist those left destitute. Fire is a constant danger. At least 43 homes and 10 commercial premises were completely destroyed by fires that broke out at a village in the border region between South and East Darfur, and another in a South Darfur market last week.