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30 die as earthquake hits near Iran nuclear plant

At least 30 people were killed and more than 800 injured yesterday when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck just 20km from Iran's only nuclear power plant.

The Russian company that built the Bushehr plant claimed it had not been damaged by the quake, but the Red Cross said two villages close to the epicentre -- Shanbe and Sana, both with populations of about 2,000 -- had been badly damaged.

"The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor," said an official at the company, Atomstroyexport.

The earthquake comes as pressure mounts on Tehran over its nuclear programme.

The tremors were felt as far away as Dubai and Bahrain, 400 miles to the south. (© Independent News Service)

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