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Iran: Ahwazi family die in search of clean water

Although mighty rivers such as the Karun and Karkhe flow through the Ahwazi Arab homeland in Khuzestan, many are struggling to find fresh water to survive in the dryer areas of the province.

The Fars News Agency has reported that members of the Sharifat family living in Chah Salem in Omidieh (Al-Amedeya) died due to a lack of clean water. While desperately digging for water, family members inhaled poisonous gas escaping from the ground. Four family members died and three others were hospitalised. A member of the emergency crew sent to rescue the family was also overcome by the fumes.

The news agency's reporter claimed that there was a lack of rescue facilities in the area and that the rural population was suffering drought and severe under-development.

The region is one of the most oil-rich areas in the world, producing around 80 per cent of Iran's oil output. However, absolute poverty rates are around 50 per cent among the indigenous Ahwazi Arab community, which represents the majority of people in Khuzestan (Al-Ahwaz).

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