The US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake, which struck at 5:55 a.m., was about 60 kilometers from Kerman, the capital of Kerman province, and 740 km southeast of Tehran, the country's capital.
"Figures we have show that in the early hours more than 1,000 were injured and almost 400 killed," the news agency quoted Ali Komsari, spokesman for the Kerman provincial governor's office, as saying.
State radio quoted other local officials as saying that 104 people were killed and hundreds injured, according to Reuters.
Kerman Governor Mohammad Ali Karimi was quoted in a state-run television report as saying the earthquake destroyed several villages, the Associated Press reported earlier.
In the ancient city of Bam in the same province, more than 40,000 people were killed in a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in December 2003.
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