Fatal 7.3 quake hits Iran-Iraq border
TEHRAN, Iran — A powerful earthquake shook the Iran-Iraq border late Sunday, killing at least 200 people and injuring 1,686 in Iran alone, state media there said.
The Iraqi government did not immediately give word on damage or casualties in that country.
The 7.3-magnitude quake was centered 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences this morning and urged rescuers and government agencies to do all they could to help those affected, state media reported.
Officials announced that schools in Iran’s Kermanshah and Ilam provinces would be closed today because of the tremor.
Iranian state TV said Iraqi officials reported at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in the city of Khanaquin.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes.
Iraq finds more mass graves tied to ISIS
KIRKUK, Iraq — Iraqi security forces have found mass graves in an area recently retaken from the Islamic State group that could contain up to 400 bodies, an Iraqi official said Sunday.
The bodies of civilians and security forces were found in an abandoned base near Hawija, a northern town retaken in early October, Kirkuk’s governor, Rakan Saed, said. He didn’t say when authorities will start exhuming the bodies.
Khalaf Luhaibi, a local shepherd who led troops to the site, said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, used to take captives to the area and shoot them dead or pour oil over them and light them on fire. The area was strewn with torn clothing and what appeared to be human bones and skulls.
Iraqi forces have driven the Islamic State from nearly all the territory it once controlled. Authorities have already uncovered several mass graves in other newly liberated areas.
U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have driven the extremists from nearly all the territory they once controlled, with some fighting still underway near the western border with Syria.
On Saturday, Iraq’s prime minister announced an operation to capture a patch of territory on the western edge of the country near the border with Syria. Hours later, the Iraqi Defense Ministry announced capturing the Romana area, saying the troops will head to nearby town of Rawa.
Smog cancels some flights to New Delhi
MUMBAI, India — United Airlines temporarily suspended Newark-New Delhi flights due to poor air quality in India’s capital, and said some extra charges will be waived for passengers forced to reschedule.
“We are monitoring advisories as the region remains under a public health emergency, and are coordinating with respective government agencies,” a United Airlines spokesman said in response to a Bloomberg query.
Other airlines were still flying to the national capital and it was not clear if they will follow United Airlines’ move to suspend flights.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of Delhi, called the capital a “gas chamber” as thick toxic smog continued to envelop the mega-city of around 20 million people on Sunday. The levels of the deadliest, tiny particulate matter — known as PM 2.5, which lodges deep in a person’s lungs — soared to 676 at 2 p.m. local time, according to a U.S. Embassy monitor. World Health Organization guidelines suggest levels above 300 are “hazardous.”
Customers traveling over the next several days should visit the United Airlines website or download the company’s mobile application for updates, the spokesman said.
Train wrecks in Congo; 34 people killed
KINSHASA, Congo — A train crash in Congo on Sunday killed at least 34 people and injured at least 26 others in Lualaba province in the country’s southeast, a government official said.
The injury and death toll is likely to rise because some train cars are on fire and some were carrying fuel, Lualaba’s governor, Richard Muyej Mangez, said. The injured were sent to Lubudi hospital about 18 miles from the crash site in Buyofwe, he said.
Radio Okapi reported that the National Railway Company of Congo train was carrying passengers and cargo from Lubumbashi to Luena, and 11 of its 13 cars caught fire. The cause of the accident was known Sunday.
Local officials and train authorities have traveled to the scene.
Lubudi’s chief medical officer said he was able to transport about 30 of the people injured to a hospital, and others remained at the scene awaiting transport, according to Radio Okapi. He said some of those injured lost limbs.
A Section on 11/13/2017
Print Headline: The world in brief