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20,000 feared dead in Iran quake

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN)—Iran has appealed for international aid as the death toll from a devastating earthquake climbed to 4,000 and officials warned that thousands more are likely to be found dead.

At least 30,000 people have been injured in the quake in southeastern Iran, local officials said.

The Iranian government said as many as 20,000 people may have died in the quake, which was centered near the ancient city of Bam about 610 miles (975 km) southeast of the capital, Tehran.

The quake struck at 5:27 a.m. Friday (8:57 p.m. ET Thursday) as people were sleeping.

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