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Archive for Monday, October 9, 2006

Several hundred police poisoned during meal

October 9, 2006

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— Hundreds of Iraqi policemen fell sick from poisoning Sunday at a base in southern Iraq after the evening meal breaking their daily Ramadan fast, and officials said they were investigating whether the poisoning was intentional.

An official with the Environment Ministry said 11 policemen had died. However, the governor of Wasit province - where the poisoning took place - denied any deaths, though he said some of the victims were in critical condition. There was no immediate explanation for the contradictory reports.

Some of the policemen began bleeding from the ears and nose after the meal, said Jassim al-Atwan, an inspector for the Environment Ministry, who was serving as a liaison in the investigation between the Health Ministry and the base, located in the town of Numaniyah.

Samples of the food and water were being tested "to determine the substance in them" and will be sent to Baghdad for further tests, Wasit Gov. Hamad al-Latif said.

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