UPDATE 2 - Almost 100 killed in fire at wedding celebration in northern Iraq
Interior ministry says at least 100 people also injured in incident in Al-Hamdaniya district in Nineveh province
UPDATES CASUALTIES, ADDS DETAILS
By Bekir Aydogan
**ERBIL, Iraq (AA) - At least 93 people died in a fire at a wedding celebration in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
**Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said that 93 people were killed and 100 others injured, including 69 who were hospitalized.
**Earlier on Wednesday, the official Iraqi News Agency reported that 100 people were killed in the fire, which broke out at the Al Haytham Wedding Hall in the Al-Hamdaniya district, southeast of Mosul.
**For his part, Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari said that “fireworks” caused the fire.
Earlier local media reports said that at least 500 people were injured in the incident, citing Ahmed Hamdani, deputy director of the Mosul Health Department.
The Iraqi News Agency (INA) said the fire was caused by fireworks, candles, and other materials used during the event.
Footage of the fire breaking out while the bride and groom were dancing was widely circulated on social media, also showing panicked people running.
There were 800 people at the wedding hall when the fire broke out, according to local media reports.
**Iraqi Prime Minister Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani declared three days of national mourning following the incident.
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