BAGHDAD, Iraq – Officials are investigating the poisoning of hundreds of police at a base in southern Iraq.
They were rushed to hospitals after eating a meal that breaks the sunrise-to-sunset fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
An inspector for the Environment Ministry says between 600 and 700 members of the predominately Shiite division were affected to varying degrees.
There are conflicting reports as to whether any have died.
Officials say samples of the food and water are being tested.
Sunni terrorists, who have often targeted police and military forces, have not been known to use poison as a weapon. But the suddenness and severity of the illness raises concerns it could be a new attack.
Food and water at the base are provided by an Australian contractor working through Iraqi subcontractors.