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Ancient Tibetan town in China's Shangri-la tourist area catches fire

Published on Jan 11, 2014 2:24 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - An ancient Tibetan village in the popular tourist area of Shangri-La in China’s southwest Yunnan province has been partially destroyed in a giant inferno, state media reported on Saturday.

The fire, which began at about 1.30 am local time on Saturday, destroyed more than 100 traditional wooden houses after it tore through the streets in the ancient Tibetan village of Dukezong, Xinhua news agency said.

More than 1,000 firefighters and volunteers were deployed to tackle the blaze, which was still spreading at mid-morning on Saturday after windy weather hampered efforts to bring it under control, local authorities in Yunnan said.

Photos posted on local news sites showed gigantic flames, some more than 10 metres high, devouring an entire neighbourhood and casting a huge orange glow in the dark while emergency services battled to control the blaze.

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