PAKISTAN

Dozens killed in Karachi shanty town fire

A fierce fire in a shanty town in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, killed at least 38 people, including 15 children, according to government and hospital sources.

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AFP - At least 38 people were killed and 25 wounded when a fire ripped through dozens of homes in a shanty town in Pakistan's largest city Karachi, government and hospital officials said early Friday.

Initial reports indicated the blaze in the teeming southern port city was sparked by a downed power wire that fell onto the roofs of the huts, said the health minister of Sindh province, Saghir Ahmed.

Ahmed and hospital officials said 15 children and 12 women were among those killed in the fire, which broke out just before midnight (1900 GMT Thursday).

Mashhood Zafar, an official at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Karachi, said about half of the 25 wounded were in serious condition.

"This is just a catastrophe. I have lost everything. My life is destroyed," said weeping survivor Mohammed Khan, whose wife and two children were killed in the fire.

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