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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Firefighters put out blaze at revered Al-Aqsa Mosque at same time as Notre Dame fire

The fire broke out in the guards’ room but no one was injured.

FIREFIGHTERS IN JERUSALEM yesterday extinguished a blaze at the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam – at the same time as the significant fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Wafa, the Palestinian News Agency, reported the fire broke out in the guards’ room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room.

Firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control before there was any damage to the prayer room. There were no injuries reported. 

According to reports, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director general of the Jerusalem Waqf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, said the fire may have been started by a group of children who were in the area at the time.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the starting of the fire and stressed the need to preserve holy places because of “the great religious and humanitarian value to us”. 

The blaze in Jerusalem was tackled at the same time as firefighters in the French capital fought a raging fire at the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The fire has now been brought under control but there was significant damage to the building, with its spire and roof both collapsing. 

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the cathedral and said “the worst had been avoided”. 

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, but the cathedral had been undergoing intense restoration work which the fire service said could be linked to the blaze.

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