World News

Factory mortar accident kills 5 in northern Iraq

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - An explosion in a steel factory in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region killed five workers on Sunday after they accidentally tried to melt down a live mortar round, police and authorities said.

The privately owned plant uses scrap metal to make steel reinforcing bars. Two Indian nationals were among the dead in the explosion, which wounded 10 others.

The mill, in the southwestern suburbs of Arbil, 310 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, is owned by Iraqis and Turkish investors, according to a factory spokesman.

Iraq is in desperate need for investment in its dilapidated infrastructure after years of war and sanctions and wants to attract foreign investors to help it build hundreds of thousands of new homes.

But Iraq remains a dangerous place for investors with daily bomb and mortar attacks by insurgents.

Reporting by Shamal Aqrawi; Editing by Rania El Gamal