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Rights group wants investigation after children die in sewer

Dec. 9, 2011 12:44 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2011 12:46 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called Thursday for an investigation into the deaths of two children in a sewage basin in Khan Yunis refugee camp.

In a statement, the PCHR said the party responsible for providing protective measures around the basin should be identified, as it threatens the safety and security of Palestinians, especially children.

The bodies of Wisam Ahmed Nazmi Sahloul, 5, and his sister Malak, 3, were discovered about eight hours after they disappeared, according to the rights group.

They were found inside the basin, about 150 meters from their home, after a search by civil defense, a witness said. The children were pronounced dead at Nasser Hospital, PCHR said.

The tragedy seems to be the result of a failure to determine who is responsible for securing the basin, which was built for an Israeli settlement before the army withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

The Khan Younis municipality has referred responsibility to UNRWA, which has a mandate for Khan Yunis refugee camp, but the city made plans -- so far unfulfilled -- to secure it, PCHR said.
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