A woman and a child died of food poisoning on Tuesday after hundreds of displaced people fell ill on Monday when they ate food during Ramadan breaking fast meal at al-Khazir-2 refugee camp near the city of Mosul, a medic and a Kurdish official said.
“Unfortunately, a woman and a female child died out of more than 800 cases of food poisoning among the displaced people after eating their Ramadan breakfast the day before,” the medical source told reporters.
The authorities of the autonomous Kurdish region launched an investigation into the incident to determine the exact source of the poisoning.
Earlier in the day, Nowzad Hadi, the governor of the region’s capital city Arbil, told reporters that the security forces arrested seven people from the humanitarian organization and workers of the restaurant provided the food for interrogation.
Late on Monday, Zahid al-Khatoni, an Iraqi Member of Parliament for Nineveh province, told reporters at al-Khazir-2 refugee camp, some 50 km in east of Mosul, that some 900 displaced people from Mosul, many were women, children and elderly, fell ill after “eating their Ramadan breakfast which were presented by a Qatari humanitarian organization.”
The food was beans, rice, chicken, and a yogurt drink brought from a restaurant in Arbil by the Qatari humanitarian organization. Most of those affected are suffering from vomiting and stomachache, according to the Kurdish Rudaw media network.
Arbil health department sent a medic teams and 30 ambulances to the camp, bringing the most severe cases to hospitals in Arbil and other medical centers, Rudaw said.
The over 1,000-tent Al-Khazir-2 refugee camp was built a few week ago for the civilians who left their home recently from the western side of Mosul.
For Muslims, Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the Islamic year. The month is characterized by fasting through the entire month from dawn until sunset, as they refrain from eating, drinking and all sinful thoughts and deeds.
Iraqi security forces, backed by the anti-IS international coalition, were simultaneously conducting a major offensive to dislodge IS militants from their remaining redoubt in the western side of Mosul.