UPDATED: 2 die of food poisoning in Iraqi refugee camp, Qatar charity blamed

A displaced Iraqi woman waits to enter Hammam al-Alil camp, south of Mosul, Iraq, April 8, 2017. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Erbil ( Reuters) Two refugees have died and hundreds others fell sick after sustaining a food poisoning in a refugee camp in Mosul, the Iraqi health ministry said.

A woman and a child died and 750 others fell ill in al-Khazer camp on the road between Erbil and Mosul, where a seven-month-old campaign by the Iraqi security forces to eliminate Islamic State militants has displaced at least 800.000 people since October.

People started vomiting and some fainted after eating an iftar meal, breaking the Muslim Ramadan fast, said lawmaker Zahed Khatouni, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s committee for displaced people, according to Reuters.

Shafaaq News website quoted Khatouni saying a Qatari charity organization was behind the meal that caused the poisoning, urging an investigation into the incident. Khatouni did not name the organization, but Mostafa Saadoun, director of the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, named it as Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF).

No comment has yet been made by the organization.

Refugees at government and U.N. camps, and also at areas still under IS control, have been suffering stinging food and medicine shortages, and dozens have regularly reported dead due to the difficulties.

Iraqi forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January and are besieging IS fighters inside the Old City, their last enclave in the western side of the city.


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