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Published: Thursday February 27, 2014 MYT 7:36:30 PM
Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 MYT 7:36:30 PM

Nine dead in Qatar restaurant gas explosion - news agency

DOHA (Reuters) - Nine people were killed when gas canisters exploded in a Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday, the official news agency of the Gulf Arab state reported.

Thirty-two were wounded, three of them critically, the agency added. "The explosion that happened today at Istanbul restaurant next to a petrol station resulted in the death of nine people," the agency said, citing ambulance sources.

Qatar's prime minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani, confirmed there had been an explosion in remarks to state television.

"Some deaths occurred that were announced, and there will be a press conference through the Ministry of Interior to give more information about the incident," said Sheikh Abdullah, who is also interior minister.

Asked if security regulations would be tightened up after the incident, he replied that "safety precautions are all there and the precautions for civil defence are there".

Photographs purporting to show the aftermath of the incident posted on social media showed chunks of masonry and cars apparently crumpled by the explosion lying outside the restaurant in a north-western district of the city. A fire burned inside the building. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the images.

(Reporting by Amena Bakr, Rania El Gamal and Mirna Sleiman, Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Alison Williams)

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