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Iran Hit By Deadly Quake

There are reports of deaths and damage from an earthquake measuring as high as magnitude 6.5 that has hit southeastern Iran.

Esmail Najjar, the governor of Kerman Province, where the quake struck, is quoted by Iran's Mehr news agency as saying at least seven people have been killed, hundreds have been injured, and hundreds are feared still trapped under rubble.

State-run television said at least three villages had been destroyed in the quake, which had its epicenter around the town of Husseinabad.

Reports said more than 20 aftershocks had hit since the main quake, including one of magnitude 5.0.

Communication lines to the region are reported to have been cut. The U.S. Geological Survey put the initial quake's magnitude at 6.3.

The quake hit not far from the city of Bam, the site of a devastating 2003 earthquake that killed some 30,000 people.

compiled from agency reports