The blaze on Saturday razed 120 shops but caused no casualties in the heart of Fatamid Cairo, not far from the Khan al-Khalili tourist bazaar.

Twelve people trapped in a building near the fire were freed safely, the officials said.

Civil defence officials said 15 fire engines battled the fire for three hours before they extinguished the blaze, which caused an estimated $990,000 (5 million Egyptian pounds) damage.

No details were available on the cause of the fire, which started in a perfume boutique and ravaged alleyways tightly packed with shops close to the famous Al-Azhar mosque shortly before business started.