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30 Killed in Northern Iraq Hotel Fire


A fire at a hotel in the city of Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq's Kurdish region has killed at least 30 people, including 14 foreigners.

Local officials say at least 23 others were injured in the fire that started late Thursday and lasted well into Friday.

At least three of those who died had jumped from third-floor windows to escape the flames, but investigators said most victims suffocated.

A statement from the office of Kurdistan's Prime Minister Barham Saleh says the dead included citizens from Australia, Bangladesh, Britain, Canada, Ecuador, Lebanon, South Africa and other countries.

It says the prime minister has ordered an immediate review of fire safety measures at public buildings across the Kurdistan region.

A preliminary investigation indicates that an electrical problem caused the blaze, and that terrorism was not involved.

In the aftermath of the blaze Friday morning, the hotel's mirrored-glass facade was blackened and marked by shattered windows.

The relative stability of Iraq's Kurdistan region has made it popular with tourists and foreign investors.



Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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