About 200 suspected poisoned by pesticides in Azerbaijan

BAKU, Azerbaijan — Health officials in Azerbaijan say that about 200 farm workers have been poisoned with chemicals while working in cotton fields.

The prosecutor general's office says it's investigating the breach of safety regulations involving the use of pesticides in cotton harvesting.

Health officials in the ex-Soviet Caspian Sea nation have registered dozens of poisonings since June 10 in three regions in central Azerbaijan.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Safiya Ahmadova said Thursday that in the Imisli region 141 people sought medical help this week. Another 24 have earlier asked for assistance in Saatli, and 38 were affected by poisoning in Terter.

Agriculture Minister Inam Kerimov said the poisonings might have been caused by the violation of safety rules or use of poor quality chemicals.

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