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Mosul displaced hit by food poisoning in Iraqi camp

14 June 2017

One child has died and around 200 people have been hospitalized after a serious outbreak of food poisoning at a refugee camp in Iraq.

The food they ate was part of the iftar meal, which breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Health ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr had told AFP that there were 752 cases of food poisoning and two deaths, a woman and child, at the Hasansham camp. She refused to speculate whether the poisoning might have been intentional.

They have escaped from the fighting in the city of Mosul between the Islamic State group and Iraqi forces backed by the United States.

The International Organisation for Migration said a Qatari aid group had paid a local restaurant to provide the food for the meal, though that was not confirmed by other agencies.

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Affected people of the camp have been treated in three nearby hospitals.

People began feeling ill after eating the meal of rice, yogurt, chicken and soup.

Almost 750,000 people have fled the northern Iraqi city has the military campaign to re-take Mosul from the Islamic State stretches into another month.

The camp is of one 12 established by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to provide shelter to now 316,000 internally displaced Iraqis near Mosul.

"Extra clean water is now being provided at the camp and additional health agencies have been brought in to help in the response", the UNHCR said.

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Abdulhaleq Talaat, the head of police from Erbil, also spelled Irbil, said authorities had detained seven people, notes AP.

Medics were still treating patients - mostly young children - in a tent on the edge of the camp on Tuesday afternoon.

Mosul fell to IS in the summer 2014 as the militants swept over much of northern and western Iraq.

Months after the start of the Iraqi offensive, IS militants control only a handful of neighborhoods in and around the Old City, west of the Tigris River which divides Mosul.

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Mosul displaced hit by food poisoning in Iraqi camp