Fire rips through Dubai skyscraper

Dubai marina district. Photo: 2014

A fire has ripped through the Torch skyscraper in Dubai, one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.

Strong winds were helping the blaze to spread across the 336.1m (1,105ft) building in the marina district.

One witness said it looked like “the Titanic going down”, Gulfnews.com reports.

It was not immediately known what caused the fire or whether people were inside the building. There are no reports yet of any casualties.

Footage posted on social media showed what looked like molten glass and pieces of masonry falling down.

Thousands of people have been evacuated, witnesses told Gulfnews.com.

It said the fire appeared to start at around the 50th floor of the 79-storey building, which was opened in 2011.

Djibouti and Ethiopia agree joint defense to protect their borders from Eritrea assaults.

Eritrea has been accused of destabilizing peace and security in the region.

 World Bulletin / News Desk
Djibouti and Ethiopia on Saturday accused Eritrea of undermining regional stability.

“Eritrea is destabilizing peace and security in the countries of the region, including Djibouti,” Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh told a joint press conference with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

“We agreed that the sanction will remain in effect on Eritrea,” he said.

For his part, Desalegn, who arrived in Djibouti earlier Saturday on a visit for the Horn of African nation, said the two countries will stand together to defend their borders.

“Ethiopia is ready to defend and safeguard Ethio-Djibouti common borders,” he said. “Our security officials will discuss on this issue and map out common stand.”

Tension has been high between Eritrea and both Djibouti and Ethiopia over their border conflicts.

Djibouti and Eritrea have engaged in two border conflicts in recent years.

Ethiopia and Eritrea, meanwhile, fought a two-year war over a border triangle in 1998.

“The International community is losing hope that there is no behavioral change on part of Eritrea, we ask the international community to take proportional measures against Eritrea,” Desalegn said.

Asked by The Anadolu Agency where the truth lies with accusations between the two countries, the Ethiopian Premier said that “this is documented by the UN Security Council Team of Investigations, which has proved the destructive role of the Eritrean government and imposed sanctions on Eritrea.”

-Regional conflicts-

The two leaders have reiterated cooperation to resolve regional conflicts, particularly in Somalia and South Sudan.

“We work closely to prevent regional challenges as we are in a volatile region in which ensuring peace and security is a challenge,” Desalegn said.

“We have achieved promising peace and stability to our Somali brothers and sisters under the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as part of our efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region,” he added.

“The complicated situation in South Sudan demands much of our time and resource. I must thank the government of Djibouti for the very important role to bring about peace and stability for Somalia and South Sudan,” he said.

“We continue to support Somalia and South Sudan in their efforts to restore peace and stability. We do not lose hope whatever happens in our region.”

The Djiboutian president, for his part, said that his country would continue its role in the fight against the Somali Al-Shabaab militant group.

“Djibouti will continue its involvement in Somalia and continue the fight against Al-Shabaab in collaboration with Ethiopia. Djibouti also provides support to [African peacekeeping mission] AMISOM,” he said.

“We hope that the warring parties in South Sudan will reach agreement,” he added.