11:23 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Catering Company Executives Arrested as 100s of Turkish Soldiers Hospitalized

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    More than 700 soldiers have fallen sick and required medical help after getting food poisoning at a military barracks in the western Turkish province of Manisa.

    According to a statement by the Manisa Prosecutor's Office, 731 soldiers at the Manisa First Infantry Training Brigade Command received medical aid after complaining of symptoms such as stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea.

    Defense Minister Fikri Isik, who visited the troopers at the hospital, said that 372 soldiers have been hospitalized while the others are being treated at the military facility.

    "No one is in intensive care or has their life in danger," he said, as cited by Anadolu news agency.

    The soldiers reportedly had eaten a meal of soup, rice, chicken and yogurt for Iftar, a meal with which Muslims break their dawn-to-dusk fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.  

    The province's chief prosecutor, Akif Celahattain Simsek, said in a statement that early on Sunday police arrested 21 employees, including executives, of the catering company that served the meals to the military compound.

    A similar incident occurred in Manisa earlier in May, when more than 1,000 soldiers were struck by a salmonella infection that left one soldier dead.

    ​"Upon the repeat incident, our chief prosecutor's office has launched a second investigation. Blood and urine sample from the suffering soldiers, as well as samples from the chicken and food items, water, and all other ingredients served at the dinner, have been taken and sent for an expert examination," Simsek said, as quoted by Hurriyet.


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