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Many feared dead, others trapped as earthquake strikes Turkey, Syria

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Scores of people were killed and hundreds injured in rebel-held areas of Syria after an earthquake rattled neighbouring Turkey on Monday, rescue workers said, according to AFP.

According to Turkey Vice President Fuat Oktay, at least 284 people died in the country from a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country’s South-East on Monday.

Oktay said more than 2,300 people were injured in one of Turkey’s biggest quakes in at least a century, adding that search and rescue work continued in several major cities.

At least 130 buildings tumbled down in Malatya province, Gov. Hulusi Sahin said. Authorities there have retrieved three bodies and around 100 people have been hospitalized, he said. The most recent reports brought the death toll in Turkey to at least 18.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu urged people not to enter damaged buildings due to the risks.

“Our priority is to bring out people trapped under ruined buildings and to transfer them to hospitals,” he said.

He added that others are buried under the rubble. He said: “We fear that the deaths are in the hundreds.”

A mother and child were killed in Idlib province, Syria, according to the Syrian American Medical Society.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to areas hit by the quake.

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