suffer food poisoning at Iraqi camp east of Mosul
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[June 14, 2017] By
Sergei Karazy and Alkis Konstantinidis
ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - About 800 people
fell ill in a mass outbreak of food poisoning at a camp for displaced
people east of the Iraqi city of Mosul, officials and aid groups said on
More than 300 people were taken to hospital for treatment after
breaking their Ramadan fast with an iftar meal on Monday night, aid
groups told Reuters. About 800 in total were affected.
"Ten of my family were poisoned," said a black-clad woman under a
tent used as makeshift treatment center at the camp, with an
intravenous rehydration drip in her arm. "It was rice, tomato sauce
and chicken legs."
Another woman held in her arms a child gasping with pain.
United Nations agencies working at the camp said nobody had died as
a result of the poisoning.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported earlier
the death of a woman and a child.
"It is tragic that this happened to people who have gone through so
much," said Andrej Mahecic, from the U.N.'s refugee agency UNHCR,
which runs the camp and 12 others in the war-torn area with Iraqi
Many of the camp residents had fled fighting around Mosul as Iraqi
government forces and their allies press an offensive to push
Islamic State militants out of the northern city.
The IOM said a Qatari aid group had paid a local restaurant to
provide the food for the meal, though that was not confirmed by
"I don't know the name of the restaurant, but that's what our person
on the site is reporting today," IOM spokesman Joel Millman said in
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The camp in al-Khazer, on the road linking Mosul and Erbil, the
capital of the Kurdish region, houses 6,300 people, the UNHCR said.
About 800,000 people, more than a third of the pre-war population of
Mosul, have already fled the city, seeking refuge with friends and
relatives or in camps.
"We threw up on the floor, I felt severe pain in the stomach, the
doctors came at night but some remained in serious condition till
morning," said a young man at the camp.
Some of those who had been taken to hospitals returned to the camp
in the afternoon, in ambulances or in minibuses, many holding serum
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli in Erbil and Stephanie Nebehay in
Geneva,; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Ed Osmond)
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