Excerpt:

An Orthodox Christian church famed for its valuable icons was set alight in southern Macedonia overnight amid religious tension between Christians and minority Muslims over a carnival in which Orthodox Christian men dressed as women in burkas and mocked the Koran.

Firefighters extinguished the fire on Monday night in the two century-old Sveti Nikola church, near the town of Struga. The church's roof was destroyed but its icons were not damaged, the fire service said.

Hours before the fire, Muslim leaders had appealed for calm among community members.


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