Thursday, September 08, 2005

Meat from snakebitten camel poisons 64 in Somaliland

HARGEISA, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Sixty-four people have been hospitalised in Somaliland after eating the meat of a camel which died of a snakebite, authorities said on Thursday.
Mohamed Muse Abdulle, deputy governor of Sahil region in the breakaway northern enclave of Somalia, said a man sold the poisoned meat in the village of Hudiso, 57 km (35 miles) south of the port of Berbera.

"The owner of the camel, who is now in police custody, is believed to have cut the meat from a camel which died from a snakebite," Abdulle told Reuters.

The 64 victims had been travelling by bus and had stopped to eat at a restaurant in Hudiso on Wednesday, Abdulle said. They were still recovering at a Hudiso clinic on Thursday, he said.

Police said they would not identify the meat-seller in case of reprisals from victims.
Somaliland, a former British protectorate, broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has since been a relatively stable enclave but is not recognised internationally as a state.

It held its first multiparty elections in 2003 and is preparing to hold its second at the end of this month.

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