Fire In Iraqi Kurdistan Luxury Hotel Kills 17

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Baghdad: Over a dozen people have died and dozens more have been injured in a hotel fire in the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

“Until now, 17 people died, among them 14 foreign nationals, the majority from the Philippines,” regional health ministry spokesman Fakher Harki said in the city of Erbil.

Those injured in the blaze which engulfed the four-star Capitol Hotel have been taken to hospital, Harki added.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the fire had been caused by an electrical problem in the hotel’s sauna, said Nawzad Hadi, the governor of Erbil Province.

The autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq is rated as safe compared to the deadly violence that plagues other parts of the country.