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40 dead in Iraq hotel fire

A fire at a hotel in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya killed 40 people, four Americans foreigners, and injured at least 23 others, a hospital source said on Friday.

world Updated: Jul 17, 2010 01:20 IST

A fire at a hotel in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya killed 40 people, four Americans foreigners, and injured at least 23 others, a hospital source said on Friday.

A security official said the fire in Iraq's relatively stable and violence-free Kurdish region was not a terrorist act and the cause was under investigation.

The fire, at the Soma Hotel in the central area of the city, raged out of control for several hours. At least three of the victims died jumping from the third floor to escape the flames, an official said.

"Most of the people who were killed were choked because of the smoke. They could not get out," said Dr. Reqot Hama-Rasheed, head of the health department in the city.