Dozens dead in Iraqi hotel blaze

Dozens dead in Iraqi hotel blaze
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A hotel fire in the city of Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq has killed 29 people and injured at least 40 others.

Earlier reports had said the number was closer to 40.

The fire broke out late on Thursday on the ground floor of the Soma Hotel and raged for seven hours.

Officials have ruled out a terrorist attack and said the blaze was triggered by an electrical failure.

Sulaimaniya is in northern Iraq’s autonomous and relatively violence free Kurdish region.

An unknown of foreign nationals are believed to be among those who lost their lives.

Hospital officials told the Reuters news agency that the majority of the dead had died after choking from the fumes.

The AFP news agency reported that four of the dead were Americans.

Several international companies operate in Sulaimaniya, which is rich in oil.