Hotel fire in Iraqi Kurdistan kills 17, including foreigners

ERBIL, Iraq (REUTERS) - A fire at a hotel in the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region killed 17 people on Friday, the governor of Erbil told a local media network, and the hotel manager said they included foreigners.

Governor Nawzad Hadi told Rudaw TV that 14 of the victims were not from the autonomous region, but that their nationality was not yet known.

The cause of the fire was not clear, but Hadi said an electrical fault was suspected.

The manager of the Capitol Hotel told Rudaw the fire had started in a massage parlour next door and that some of those killed were from the Philippines.

Many foreign workers came to Kurdistan after 2003, when the region experienced an oil fuelled economic boom, inviting comparisons with the Gulf emirate of Dubai.