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At least 7 dead in Turkey after magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes northwest Iran

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By Associated Press and Reuters  with NBC News World News
At least 7 dead in Turkey after magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes northwest Iran

Seven people were killed in Turkey after a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck northwestern Iran early Sunday morning, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said.

The tremblor centered on the Iranian city of Khoy and affected villages in the Turkish province of Van.

Soylu told a news conference in Ankara that three children and four adults were killed in Turkey's Baskule district. Five injured people had been taken to hospital while others remained trapped under the debris of fallen buildings, he added.

Emergency teams have been sent to the mountainous region, Soylu said.

The magnitude 5.7 quake had a depth of 3 miles, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center.

Turkish public broadcaster TRT World said it affected about 43 villages in Turkey, which has a history of powerful earthquakes.

Meanwhile in Iran, an official told state TV that rescue teams had "been dispatched to the area."

They added: "So far, we had no reports of damage or fatalities in the area, which is not a populated area in Iran's West Azarbaijan province."

But another local official told state TV that the earthquake was felt in several cities including Khoy, Urmiah and Salmas. He said about 43 villages in Iran were impacted.

"We had no reports of casualties, only injuries," he said.

Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.

Last month a quake centered on the eastern Turkish city of Elazig killed more than 40 people.