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Earthquake in Iran kills three, wounds 21

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Two children and an elderly woman died, an Iranian news agency reports
  • The 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck northern Iran on Friday
  • 21 people are reported to be injured and in hospitals

(CNN) -- A 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Iran on Friday has killed three people and wounded another 21, an Iranian news agency reported Saturday.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting agency that two children lost their lives at the scene of the quake, while an elderly woman died later from her injuries at a hospital.

The epicenter of the quake was about 65 miles east of Semnan, Iran, and some 175 miles east of the capital Tehran, according to the U.S. Geological Society, which also reported the 5.7 magnitude of the earthquake.

The semi-official Fars news agency in Iran said the earthquake had a 5.9 magnitude, and was followed by several, smaller aftershocks.

Residents as far away as Tehran felt the quake that rattled lamps and ceiling lights.

Mohammad Najjar told IRIB that 15 villages were damaged by the earthquake, while at least 19 people were hospitalized in the region of Damghan. The minister added that all of the injured people were in good condition, IRIB said.

Separately, IRIB reported that two people were hospitalized in the northern province of Semnan, citing the head of the State Emergency Center.

CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.