Quake on Iran-Iraq border injures more than 230 people

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Iranian official says at least 30 people killed, more than 200 injured during quake on Iran-Iraq border region.

Earlier reports suggested that the quake's magnitude stood at 7.5.

A strong quake that shook the Iran-Iraq border region yesterday killed at least 13 people, authorities and state media in the two countries said.

Most casualties occurred in the town of Darbandikhan, around 35 km from the city of Sulaimaniyah.

The natural disaster was felt in many Iraqi provinces in the north and central regions, including the Iraqi capital Baghdad, witnesses said.

"Four people were killed by the earthquake" in Darbandikhan, the Iraqi town's mayor Nasseh Moulla Hassan told AFP. Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud bricks, known to crumble easily in quake-prone Iran. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

The temblor was centred 32km southwest of Halabja, Iraq, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey said.

In the town of Diyarbakir, residents also left their homes before returning.

Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country.