2 dead and Hundreds fallen ill with food poisoning in Mosul displaced camp
A girl and woman died and more than 750 people were affected - Representational Image REUTERS/Ari Jalal

At least two people died and hundreds have fallen ill from suspected food poisoning at a camp for displaced people near the Iraqi city of Mosul, on Monday evening (12 June) officials say.

People reportedly started suffering from dehydration and began vomiting after an iftar meal, meant to break the daily Ramadan fast, said lawmaker Zahed Khatoun, a member of the Iraqi parliament's committee for displaced people.

Iraq's health minister told The Associated Press that a girl and woman had died.

The Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported that more than 800 cases were reported, and around 200 of the patients were being treated in three hospitals in the area.

The news agency also said that the food was prepared in a restaurant in Irbil and was brought to the camp by a Qatari charity. They added that the owner of the restaurant that made the food had been arrested.

The UN refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement, "Staff have been working closely overnight to co-ordinate the response with other agencies and the relevant authorities... to ensure that those who have fallen ill were able to receive swift medical treatment and that the seriously sick were provided transport to nearby hospitals."

Rizgar Obed was quoted by Rudaw as saying that outside organisations had previously been banned from bringing in food. But the camp authorities had been forced "under great pressure" to change the regulations.

The camp is located in al-Khazer on the road linking Mosul and Erbil, and provides shelter to people displaced due to the ongoing offensive to retake Mosul from the Isis.

The camp is one of 13 built by the UNHCR in Mosul area to cope with the number of people fleeing from the city and surrounding villages. It currently houses 6,235 people.

According to the UN, almost 10,000 people fled from Mosul's northwest and the Old City every day during the last week of May.

More than 750,000 people have been displaced from the city since October.