5 Iranian pilgrims killed in Iraq hotel fire

Tehran, Jan 8 (IANS) At least five pilgrims died in a fire that erupted in a hotel in the Iraqi city of Karbala, Iranian authorities confirmed on Sunday.

All five victims, who died in the Qasr al-Mola hotel fire, were from Khorasan Razavi province of Iran and had arrived in the Shia Muslim holy city for pilgrimage, IRNA news agency reported.

A total of 108 Iranian Shia pilgrims were staying at the hotel but many of them were out when the fire erupted on Saturday evening, a senior official said.

He added that the pilgrims came to Iraq through an illegal travel agency and they had been lodged in a hotel which was not safe.