|View of the fire-damaged Soma Hotel in the Iraqi northern city of Sulaimaniyah July 16, 2010. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq, July 16 (Xinhua) -- An officer from local police forces has lowered the death toll from a fire at a hotel Friday in Iraq's northern Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah back to 29, adding 21 others were also wounded.
Only 29 were dead and 21 others were wounded, a local police officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The latest casualties have been confirmed by an official from the health office of Sulaimaniyah.
Previous local report said up to 43 people were killed in the incident. The police source said the confusion was caused by the chaos in the hospital when it received the dead and wounded.
"The fire occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday at the Soma hotel in Sulaimaniyah city center, the fire fighters spent several hours to put the fire out." Many of the dead were from Bangladesh, Philippine and Thailand, said the source, adding four Americans were among the dead.
At least six of the victims jumped from the 4th floor of the hotel to death because they couldn't stand the heat and smoke, a witness told a Xinhua correspondent in Sulaimaniyah, who said most of the dead were suffocated by the heavy smoke.
Local police has said this incident doesn't look like a terrorist attack but a result of an electricity problem.
Different from the Arab part of Iraq, Sulaimaniyah locates in Iraq's northern Kurdish autonomous region, enjoys relative peace and prosperity after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Many foreigners visit the area for tourism and business every year.