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Hundreds suffer from food poisoning in camp near Mosul

Iraqi officials say at least two people have died after falling ill from an iftar meal in an IDP camp outside Mosul.

At least two people have died and hundreds more have fallen ill after suffering food poisoning in a camp for displaced Iraqis east of Mosul, officials said.

People started vomiting and some fainted after eating the fast-breaking iftar meal on Monday, lawmaker Zahed Khatoun, a member of the Iraqi parliament's committee for displaced people told Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

Iraq's health minister told The Associated Press that a girl and woman died and more than 750 people were affected.

The food was provided by a non-governmental organisation. 

Authorities have launched a formal investigation into the incident, officials said. 

The Kurdish news agency Rudaw, citing Erbil's mayor, said the owner of the restaurant that made the food had been arrested.

The camp is located in al-Khazer on the road linking Mosul and Erbil and houses those displaced due to the ongoing offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

According to the UN refugee agency, more than 6,000 people currently live inside the camp. 

A US-backed military operation to retake ISIL's last three remaining enclaves outside Mosul's Old City began last month - the latest push in a major operation that began in October.

Aid groups have repeatedly expressed their concerns over the safety of hundreds of thousands of civilians who have been forced to flee and are at risk of being caught in the crossfire.

Almost 10,000 people fled from Mosul's northwest and the Old City every day during the last week of May, the UN said. 

More than 750,000 people have been displaced from the city since October.


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