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Saudis Kill 13,500 Ostriches
Amid New Bird Flu Outbreak


RIYADH (AFP) -- Saudi Arabia's agriculture ministry has ordered 13,500 ostriches to be destroyed following a new outbreak of bird flu in the kingdom, the Al-Watan newspaper reported on Saturday.
The outbreak of the H5N1 strain of the disease that is dangerous to humans was reported on Thursday evening at a farm in the Al-Kharj region, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Riyadh, the Arabic language daily said.
Last month, the Saudi authorities ordered nearly four million birds culled in the face of at least 14 separate outbreaks of avian influenza.
There have been no reports of the disease spreading to humans in the oil-rich desert kingdom.
The H5N1 strain first emerged in Asia in 2003, and has caused more than 200 deaths in humans, with Indonesia and Vietnam among the worst hit countries, according to World Health Organisation figures.
Pakistan on Saturday confirmed its first death from the bird flu virus.

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