At about 4 p.m. in the Chba Ompeuv district of Phnom Penh, a fire broke out that quickly spread because of winds and dry conditions. By the time it stopped spreading, at least 500 homes or squatters� shacks along the river had burned to the ground, witnesses said.
Witness at the scene told reporters the fire started at a local motorcycle repair shop. Police and fire officials are still investigating what caused the blaze.
Phnom Penh, still rebuilding after 30 years of civil strife, comprises numerous pockets of squatters. About two years ago, four major fires struck squatter settlements. #####