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Earthquake rattles Iran & Iraq; At least 61 killed


A strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake has rattled the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing scores.

At least 61 people were killed and 300 injured in western Iran, state media said, with four more reported dead in Iraq. The death toll is likely to rise.

The earthquake sparked panic, with residents fleeing their homes for the streets. Mosques in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have been saying prayers through loudspeakers.

Iran’s emergency services chief Pir Hossein Koolivand said many of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km from the border.

The head of Iran’s Red Crescent Organisation Morteza Salim said damage was reported in at least eight villages. He said “Some other villages have suffered power cuts and their telecommunications system has also been disturbed.”