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At least 100 killed in Iraq after fire breaks out at wedding event hall

More than 150 injured in event in Iraqi town of Al-Hamdaniyah in a predominantly Christian area in Nineveh province

At least 100 people were killed and more than 150 injured when a fire broke out during a wedding at an event hall in the northern Iraqi town of Al-Hamdaniyah, according to state media and health officials.

Health authorities in Nineveh province “have counted 100 dead and more than 150 injured in the fire at a marriage hall in Al-Hamdaniyah”, the official Iraqi press agency INA reported, citing a “preliminary” tally confirmed to AFP by a spokesperson for the country’s health ministry.

The town is in a predominantly Christian area just outside of the northern city of Mosul, some 335 kilometers (205 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad.

There was no immediate official word on the cause of the blaze but initial reports by the Kurdish television news channel Rudaw suggested fireworks at the venue may have sparked the fire.

Television footage showed charred debris inside the wedding hall as a man shouted at firefighters.

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Health Ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr gave the casualty figure via the state-run Iraqi News Agency.

“All efforts are being made to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate accident,” al-Badr said.

Najim al-Jubouri, the provincial governor of Nineveh, said some of the injured had been transferred to regional hospitals. He cautioned that there were no final casualty figures yet from the blaze, which suggests the death toll may still rise.