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Azerbaijanis Say Soldiers Had 'Colds,' Not Poisoned

BAKU -- The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry says 164 soldiers hospitalized last week simply "caught colds" and were not victims of poisoning, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The ministry said on May 30 that bacteriological tests proved the soldiers suffered from a "stomach ailment."

Officials said that 158 of the soldiers who required hospitalization last week were released after checkups.

Azer Maqsudov, the head of the toxicological department at the Clinical Hospital, told RFE/RL that nausea, headaches, stomach pain, and high temperature -- symptoms that the soldiers experienced -- sounded more like symptoms of food poisoning, not colds.