11 killed, 486 injured during Fire Festival celebrations in Iran

At least 11 people have been killed and 486 injured in Iran during the celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri, or Fire Festival, the Iranian state TV has reported.

Among the wounded, 49 people were amputated following severe injuries on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported citing Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman of Iran’s Emergency Organisation.

Most of the casualties, up by 47 per cent from last year, occurred in the past four or five days, Khaledi said.

The Fire Festival is celebrated by Iranians on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz, the Iranian new year, which begins on March 21 this year. The celebrations this year started days ago and reached their climax on Tuesday evening.

Iranians celebrate the Fire Festival by jumping over bonfires and using firecrackers in public places, which are the rites performed to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new year.

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