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South Africa: 9 people killed in fires over holiday weekend

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) A Cape Town fire department spokesman says nine people were killed in fires in the South African city over the weekend.

Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Theo Layne said Monday that about 1,500 people were left homeless over the holiday weekend from five separate fires in the coastal city. Layne said two girls were among the dead.

Layne said the first fire began on the evening of Dec. 25, while three other fires were reported in the early hours of Dec. 26. A fifth fire was reported on Sunday, Dec. 27.

Layne said the causes of the fires are still unknown. The fires gutted dozens of shacks - homes often made of sheet metal, wood and plastic, and erected in crowded neighborhoods - and brick homes.