Relatives of Fatma Kocyigit, one of the three bird flu victims, carry her coffin (epa)
6 January 2006 -- British laboratories today confirmed the presence of bird flu in three people in Turkey who died of the virus this week.
The three were Turkey's first human fatalities from the H5N1 virus. The three children -- all siblings -- lived in close proximity with poultry.
Meanwhile, health officials in neighboring Azerbaijan said bird flu is not responsible for the recent deaths of thousands of farm birds in the country's south.
Emin Sahbazov, the deputy head of the Agriculture Ministry's veterinary department, told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service that the recent large number of bird deaths in the Masalli region were caused by other diseases that have yet to be determined. Tests are under way to solve the mystery.
The Massali region is near Azerbaijan's border with Iran, about 500 kilometers southeast of the area in Turkey where bird flu has been killing humans.
(RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service with agencies)
A photo gallery of the Azerbaijan opposition protests in Baku on November 9, 2005.