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Egyptian villagers confront health minister over contaminated water

Egypt's health minister and a regional governor were locked inside a hospital room by villagers on Tuesday as they visited the area in response to reports of sickness caused by the drinking water, the BBC reported.

Mohammed Mustafa and Minufiya Gov. Ashraf Hilal were visiting sick villagers in Sunsaft when local people confronted them about the contaminated water. According to the BBC, villagers locked the hospital room door, showed them bottles of tap water and told them to "drink it."

About an hour later, police intervened and freed the two officials from the hospital.

Mustafa ordered the closure of unlicensed water sources in Sunsaft, the BBC reported, while Hilal suspended government employees in charge of the village's main water supply. The Daily News Egypt said the Ministry of Health has reported 56 severe cases, but the state-run news agency, Mena, estimated the number of those affected was more than 400, according to the BBC.

Symptoms included high fever, sever diarrhea and vomiting.

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