AFP: Twenty-five people were killed in northern Iran on Friday when the bus they were riding in skidded off a mountain road into a ravine, student news agency ISNA reported. Another seven people were injured in the accident on the road between Tehran and Babolsar, which occurred when the driver swerved to avoid rocks falling from the mountainside. AFP

TEHRAN - Twenty-five people were killed in northern Iran on Friday when the bus they were riding in skidded off a mountain road into a ravine, student news agency ISNA reported.

Another seven people were injured in the accident on the road between Tehran and Babolsar, which occurred when the driver swerved to avoid rocks falling from the mountainside.

Iran's roads are considered among the most dangerous in the world. Nearly 100,000 Iranians have been killed in traffic accidents in the last five years, including close to 26,000 last year -- amounting to three an hour.

Decrepit vehicles -- many of them more than 20 years old -- as well as poor road conditions, general contempt for driving laws and the reckless behavior of truck drivers, many of them under the influence of drugs, are blamed for the annual death toll.