One killed, 74 injured during Iran fire festival - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

One killed, 74 injured during Iran fire festival

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency says the country's annual fire festival has cost the life of one person and injured 74 others.

Every year thousands of Iranians celebrate "Chahar-Shanbe Suri," or Wednesday Fire Feast, by jumping over bonfires and detonating homemade bombs and firecrackers.

Iranians regard the feast as an exercise to purify their souls for their new year, Nowruz, which begins on March 21.

The Tuesday report said 42 of the injured were hospitalized for treatment of serious burns.

Also, several buildings and cars were damaged by fires, it said.

Many Iranians celebrate the feast despite opposition by conservative clerics. They object because the feast was derived from Zoroastrianism, the religion of Iran before the advent of Islam in the 7th century.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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