DAMASCUS, SYRIAA Syrian government minister said Sunday that foreign fighters who have come to the country to wage jihad are responsible for the outbreak of polio in the rebel-controlled north.
Last week, the United Nations health agency confirmed 10 polio cases in northeast Syria, the first confirmed outbreak of the disease in the country in 14 years, raising a risk of it spreading across the region. The confirmed cases are among babies and toddlers, all under 2, who were "under-immunized," according to the World Health Organization. The agency is awaiting lab results on another 12 cases showing polio symptoms.
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