Avalanche claims 3 lives in north Iran

Iran's official news agency is reporting an avalanche has claimed three lives in a mountainous area near the capital, Tehran.

The Friday report said the three were trapped when the avalanche early Friday hit a road in Mobarakabad village, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) northeast of Tehran. Rescuers saved several others who were also trapped.

Heavy snowfall and storms have blocked roads and affected utilities in many mountainous areas across the country and delayed flights.

Thursday is part of the weekend in Iran, when people rush to the ski resorts and wilderness as well as nearby cities and towns for a short break.