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Kyrgyz Villagers Blame U.S. Airbase for Mushroom Poisoning May 30, 2005 - mosnews.com
At least ten villagers in the Central Asia state of Kyrgyzstan have reportedly sustained acute poisoning after they ate wild mushrooms picked near the U.S airbase Manas, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Monday.
All victims, including two children aged four and eight, have been taken to hospital and diagnosed with acute food poisoning. The agency quoted an informed source as saying that all of them ate the mushrooms the locals call "blue stem".
Most villagers now blame the U.S. airbase for the poisonings. They say that the aircraft fuel used by the U.S. Air Force pollutes the soil in the nearby districts and makes mushrooms toxic. Kyrgyz doctors, however, have no solid confirmation of this theory.
A spokesman for the local sanitary inspection has said that in the region where the accident took place, about 200 people were hospitalized with the same diagnose over the past few years and five poisonings proved to be fatal.
The Manas airbase was built on the territory of an international airport in 2001 to provide support for American troops based in Afghanistan.