Iraq hotel inferno leaves 28 dead

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The Independent Online

A fire in a five-storey hotel in northern Iraq has killed 28 people, half of them foreigners. Several victims jumped to their deaths as there were no fire escapes, officials and witnesses said yesterday.

The Soma Hotel fire in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah was sparked by an electrical short, the chief of police said. He added that four women and four children were among the dead and that at least 14 of the victims were foreigners.

Work and investment opportunities have drawn many foreigners to Iraq's Kurdish north, which is rich in oil.

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