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A powerful magnitude-7.3 earthquake has rocked the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing more than 400 people and injuring thousands more.

Iran’s state-run Irna news agency raised the death toll to 407 on Monday and said 5,953 people were injured after the quake that struck the country’s western provinces at 9.20pm local time on Sunday. Local officials said the tolls would rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas.


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More than 70,000 people were in need of emergency shelter, the Iranian Red Crescent said.

The hardest hit province was Kermanshah, where three days of mourning have been announced. More than 236 people died in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 10 miles from the Iraq border.

Farhad Tajari, the local MP, said 15 members of his family had been killed and that the town’s main hospital was severely damaged and struggling to treat hundreds of injured people.

“Sarpol-e Zahab has only one hospital, which was demolished in this incident. All patients and hospital staff have been buried beneath the rubble, so it cannot offer any service,” he told local media.

The quake killed at least seven people in Iraq and injured 535, all in the country’s northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region, the interior ministry said.   Read more