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4 killed in fire, explosion at textile warehouses in Iraqi city of Karbala

The photo shows the aftermath of a gas explosion near the holy shrine of Imam Hossein in Karbala, Iraq, July 28, 2023.

As many as four people have been killed after a fire breaks out triggering the explosion of fuel tanks at textile warehouses on a street leading to the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (AS) in the Iraqi city of Karbala.

The blaze erupted on the Imam Ali (AS) Street in Karbala's Old City on Friday.

Karbala Governor's Office released a statement, saying, "The fire was brought completely under control thanks to firemen's efforts."

The Interior Ministry ruled out any act of terror, saying firemen were extinguishing the fire.

Fire crews arrived on the scene and put out the blaze "in record time, despite the difficulty of moving fire trucks through the crowds of pilgrims," an emergency services statement said.

The statement by the Governor's Office, meanwhile, added that Karbala's Governor Nassif al-Khattabi directly monitored the firefighting efforts, alongside Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari, who has travelled to the holy city to observe the conduct of Ashura ceremonies.

Ashura commemorates the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him).

Each year, millions of Muslims converge on the holy city to observe the occasion.

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