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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 June, 2005, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Man held over toxic Iraq melons
Insurgents seem to be getting more creative in their tactics
A man has been arrested for allegedly targeting Iraqi security forces with poisoned watermelons, US military officials in northern Iraq say.

The attacker was said to have been driving around with a lorry full of fruit injected with a toxic substance.

Posing as a farmer, he had apparently been stopping at checkpoints south of Mosul, presenting the watermelons as gifts to thirsty soldiers.

Police say he was caught in the act after men who ate the melons fell ill.

They were able to call ahead to checkpoints further along the road to make sure the man was detained.

The American military in the area has now sent samples to a laboratory in Baghdad to test what poison had been used.

A spokesman said no one could deny that the insurgents were creative in their tactics.

It is not clear how many soldiers were affected by the contaminated melons, but the US military said they had all been released from hospital.

However, other reports said one man had died of poisoning.

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