AFP: Twenty people were killed and 21 others injured when a bus packed with Iraqi nationals on a pilgrimage to Iran collided with a truck in the northeast of the Islamic republic, press reports said on Sunday. According to the Iran newspaper, all or most of the dead and injured were Iraqis. AFP

Tehran - Twenty people were killed and 21 others injured when a bus packed with Iraqi nationals on a pilgrimage to Iran collided with a truck in the northeast of the Islamic republic, press reports said on Sunday.

According to the Iran newspaper, all or most of the dead and injured were Iraqis. It said that the accident occurred near Mashhad on Saturday when the bus apparently tried to overtake another vehicle and ran head on into a truck loaded with heavy pipes.

Close to 100,000 people have died in road accidents in Iran over the past five years. During the last Iranian year ending in March 2004, 25,772 people were killed.

Iran's appalling road safety record is one of the reasons behind Transport Minister Ahmad Khorram's impeachment hearing in the Iranian parliament, which began on Sunday.