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Rabid Dogs Stop Falluja Refugees

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    Disease risk stops Falluja return BBC December 11, 1004 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4085109.stm ... photo: US marines have been ordered to thin out
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2004
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      Disease risk stops Falluja return
      BBC
      December 11, 1004
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4085109.stm


      ---
      photo:
      US marines have been ordered to thin out Falluja's
      animal population
      http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40617000/jpg/_40617295_fallujad
      ogs_ap203b.jpg
      ---


      Sewage and rabid animals pose a significant health
      threat in Falluja, US military officials have warned.

      An army spokesman said the estimated 250,000 people
      that fled the assault cannot return until the risk
      posed by stray animals and sewage is eliminated.

      US forces retook the insurgent bastion amid heavy
      fighting last month.

      The Red Cross is waiting for US forces to give it the
      go-ahead to restore the city's water supply and help
      identify the hundreds of gathered corpses.

      'Warehouse of bodies'

      "Many streets are flooded with sewage water," Red
      Cross spokesman Ahmad Rawi, who has just returned from
      Falluja, told the BBC News website.

      He said the city's water treatment plant has to itself
      be drained before an assessment can be made of how
      badly it has been damaged.

      Another priority for the agency, Mr Rawi said, is the
      identification of "hundreds of bodies" collected and
      stored by US-led forces in a former potato warehouse.

      Photographs of the corpses have to be taken and
      circulated among refugees from the city so that they
      could be identified and buried as soon as possible.

      The Red Cross could not confirm whether the warehouse
      had refrigeration facilities to prevent the bodies
      from decaying.

      Rabies danger

      As well as water-borne diseases, US forces say dogs
      that have fed on corpses pose a risk to returning
      refugees.

      US soldiers have been killing the stray animals to
      prevent the spread of rabies, the BBC's Caroline
      Hawley reports.

      Marines interviewed by AFP news agency said orders had
      been given to "thin out" the city's animal population.


      Rabies is spread by the saliva of infected animals,
      who often behave aggressively because of the disease.

      Once transmitted to humans, it is usually fatal.

      The US military has not said when it will allow
      refugees back into Falluja.

      Officers are planning to use iris scans and
      fingerprints to screen males of a fighting age who try
      to re-enter the city, our correspondent reports.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4085109.stm

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