Shop owners say their goods were stolen by people, police and firefighters after fire broke out in the market.
Fire Destroys At Least 1,000 Shops In Kabul
The fire that first broke out in Khairkhwah Market in the center of the city on Thursday evening, left five markets heavily damaged and destroyed almost 1,000 shops.
Shops in the markets sell mostly electronic equipment, from computers to refrigerators, mobile phones and other home appliances.
Shopkeepers said they have suffered big financial losses following the incident. The fire which started at 5pm on Thursday evening, stopped after almost 15 hours.
“The goods in the shops were the result of 12 years of efforts by shopkeepers and investors which were all burnt. We don’t know who will hear our voiceand why the fire was not stopped immediately?” asked Mohammad Ibrahim Rasuli, head of Electronic Devices Companies Union.
Other investors and shop owners said part of their goods were stolen despite that security forces were at the scene.
They said police were also involved in stealing their goods along with other people – which came under the pretext of helping the shop owners.
“I saw police and firefighters who were stealing goods instead of extinguishing the fire and ensuring security,” said Fahim, a shopkeeper.
“The shopkeepers were taking out their goods, but the goods were forcefully taken from them by some individuals,” said Omid Habibi, a shopkeeper.
The Ministry of Interior said an investigation has started to find out those behind stealing goods from the markets.
“The Ministry of Interior Affairs has started its investigation to find out who has stolen the goods,” said Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the ministry.
Kabul Municipality said lack of standard design of such markets is one of the main reasons behind such incidents.
“We continue our efforts to assess all buildings in the city to prevent such incidents in the future,” said Acting Kabul Mayor Shoabi Rahimi.