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Hundreds die in Iran earthquakes

Iran has raised the death toll from Saturday's twin earthquakes to 306, a day after rescuers called off the search for survivors.

Heath minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi told a session of parliament on Monday that the number jumped by about 50 after more victims died in hospital. More than 3,000 people were injured in the earthquakes.

Scores of aftershocks have coursed through Iran's mountainous north-east since the 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude quakes hit the region, where some 300,000 people live near the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a 6.6 magnitude quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam.

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