A strong earthquake followed by several aftershocks jolted western Iran early Friday, killing at least two and injuring scores, state media reported.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 and struck Boroujerd and Doroud, two industrial cities in western Iran, at 01:05 local time Friday (Thursday 21:35 GMT), the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
The epicenter was mountainous villages south of Boroujerd and north of Doroud.
Two more aftershocks struck the mountainous region. A third tremor had a magnitude of 6.0, hitting Doroud and surrounding villages at 04:47 local time, (01:17 GMT) Friday, IRNA reported.
The bodies of two people killed in the quake have been transferred to Doroud, hospital official Kamran Sabzian was quoted by IRNA as saying.
Forty-two persons have been injured in Garaj and other villages, he said.
Doroud governor Nasrollah Rashno told IRNA that the quake has damaged buildings in rural areas and cut telephone lines.
The earthquake was classified as moderate, but such quakes have killed thousands of people in the past in the Iranian countryside where houses are often built of bricks.
The quake in the middle of the night caused panic, with citizens in Doroud running out of their homes. Many spent the night in open space, residents said.
"We are afraid to get back home. I spent the night with my family and guests in open space last night," Doroud resident Mahmoud Chaharmiri told The Associated Press by telephone, reports the AP.
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