At least seven people were killed, including a child, after a landslide demolished a Shia shrine in the central Iraqi province of Karbala, the Iraqi Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
Rescuers drove a bulldozer through the Qattarat al-Imam Ali shrine’s entrance, which resembles half a dome ornately decorated with blue tiles covered in Arabic script.
The sacred building, flanked by two minarets, sits at the base of high, bare rock walls. Part of its concrete roof had been torn apart.
Rescue workers pulled out six survivors from the rubble after the landslide, which occurred on Saturday, the statement said. The search and rescue operation was continuing in case more people remained buried under the rubble, it added.
The Qattarat al-Imam Ali shrine is located in Iraq’s western desert, about 28km (17 miles) from the centre of the city of Karbala, one of the holiest Shia sites.