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Fire broke out in Al-Aqsa mosque as Notre-Dame cathedral burned

Dome of the rock mosque in Jerusalem's Old City Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Jerusalem, Israel Apr 16, 2019, 10.08 PM (IST)

A small fire broke out at a guard's booth in the courtyard at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem but was extinguished and the site remains open, authorities said Tuesday.

The blaze broke out on Monday evening around the same time as Paris's Notre-Dame cathedral burned.

The fire was "quickly extinguished", Israeli police said, adding the cause was being investigated.

The Waqf religious organisation which oversees the site said the fire burned a guard's room above what is known as the Marwani prayer room.

It said the fire was caused by youths playing with fire, without providing further details.

The Jerusalem compound is holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.

It is considered the third-holiest site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism.

Story highlights

The blaze broke out on Monday evening around the same time as Paris's Notre-Dame cathedral burned.