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Report: Iranians rush to hospitals in southern city struck by high air pollution

An Iranian newspaper says more than 50 people were hospitalized in a southern city where air pollution levels spiked this week.

Tuesday's report by the pro-reform Arman daily quotes the head of provincial health department, Mohammad Hossein Sarmast, as saying that at least 5,000 people rushed to the city hospitals in Ahvaz seeking medical assistance after pollution levels increased following lightning strikes and heavy rains on Sunday.

The paper also cites another health official, Mohammad Alavi, as saying acid rain may have caused symptoms such as shortness of breath among those admitted to hospitals.

Ahvaz is located in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, which is dotted with oil wells and factories, and is among Iran's most polluted cities.

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