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Files destroyed in town planning arson (Updated)

The majority of the files destroyed in the fire that broke out in the central offices of the town planning department in Nicosia, were digitised, Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said on Thursday.

On Thursday morning, a number of files were destroyed by fire that appears to have been set deliberately. According to fire service spokesman Leonidas Leonidou, they received a call at around 7.50am that fire had broken out in a cabinet at the department’s archive room. Town planning staff were at work when the fire broke out.

The fire did not cause much damage, Leonidou said, but it destroyed a number of files inside the cabinet.

He added that it appears it was set deliberately. The spokesman said that the case was to be further investigated in cooperation with the police.

Hasikos, said the fire was “luckily not of large scale” but that it needs to be investigated. The majority of those files was digitised, he said.

“This makes the damage even smaller. I cannot say at the moment what the content of each destroyed file was,” he said.

The police and the fire service, he said, continue investigations.

“When investigations are over, they will inform me whether it was a malicious act or not. I believe that, even if it was malicious, we will be able through investigations to ascertain how, why and if possible by whom, this act was made,” Hasikos said.

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