Pakistan probing if malnutrition behind deaths of 2 dozen children in drought-hit south

Published: March 8, 2014

Poor children wait in a queue to receive free food distributed at the shrine of Sufi saint Barri Imam in the suburbs of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 10, 2014. Hundreds of poor and homeless people get food from different shrines in Pakistan donated by people. AP Photo/B.K. Bangash

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani officials say authorities are investigating whether malnutrition is responsible for the deaths of nearly two dozen children in the country’s drought-hit desert south.

Kamran Zia, the chief spokesman for National Disaster Management Authority, said Saturday as many as 23 children have died in the villages of Tharparkar desert in the southern Sindh province since February.

He said it was unclear whether the children died from a shortage of food or medical problems.

Imdad Ali Keerio, the spokesman for the top elected official in the province, said investigators were also trying to determine who was responsible for delays in sending food and medicine to the area.

Tharparkar is located 1,100 kilometres (650 miles) south of the capital, Islamabad. The region is experiencing lower-than-average rainfall.

03:46ET 08-03-14

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