At least 17 people die in Iraqi Kurdistan hotel fire
Iraqi firemen work at four-star Capitol Hotel in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on February 5, 2016. (AFP/Safin Hamed)
Over a dozen people have died and dozens more have been injured in a hotel fire in the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.
"Until now, 17 people died, among them 14 foreign nationals, the majority from the Philippines," regional health ministry spokesman Fakher Harki said in the city of Erbil.
Those injured in the blaze which engulfed the four-star Capitol Hotel have been taken to hospital, Harki added.
Preliminary investigations indicated that the fire had been caused by an electrical problem in the hotel's sauna, said Nawzad Hadi, the governor of Erbil Province.
The autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq is rated as safe compared to the deadly violence that plagues other parts of the country.
The Kurdistan region is frequently visited by tourists from other areas of Iraq and various countries in the region.