15 killed in Madinah hotel blaze

The hotel where the fire broke out was housing pilgrims. (Photo courtesy of Arab News)

At least 15 people were killed and 130 others were wounded in a fire that broke out at a hotel housing Muslim pilgrims in the holy city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The blaze started at Ishraq al-Madinah Hotel at about 2pm, the Madinah Governorate said in a statement. The victims are from different nationalities, including some from Turkey and Egypt.

Adel al-Alfi, the Egyptian consul general in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, said five Egyptians, including two children were among the victims.

While authorities said they are still investigating the source of the blaze, they said many of the victims died of suffocation.

A nearby hotel was evacuated as a precaution as firefighters battled the blaze.

Madinah is a major religious destination for Muslims. The city is the burial site of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and is Islam’s second holiest city after Mecca.

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