5 Arrested in Mashhad Poisoning Case

5 Arrested in Mashhad Poisoning Case  5 Arrested in Mashhad Poisoning Case

Among a group of 33 Saudi pilgrims on a visit to the holy city of Mashhad, in Khorasan Razavi Province, four pilgrims including three children and one teenager have died reportedly due to poisoning, Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi announced on Monday.

Five persons were later detained, local news outlets said. Details of the arrests and the charges were not immediately available.

“Traces of toxic substances were found in their blood. Banned insecticides were used to fumigate the rooms in their apartment hotel,” the minister said, ISNA reported.

All the pilgrims were admitted to ICU at Imam Reza Hospital on Sunday with signs of vertigo, nausea, and low blood pressure.

He said, “From the medical viewpoint, it would suggest that the act was deliberate unless proven otherwise, but the regulatory bodies should explain. Given our regional status and the recent incidents in Saudi Arabia (referring to the molestation of two young Iranian boys by Jeddah airport guards), such matters must be pursued immediately to make sure that those responsible face severe punishment.” Head of the hospital Dr. Abdollah Bahrami said, “There is no evidence yet to indicate the incident was premeditated.” Mashhad prosecuter Gholam Ali Sadeghi said the case is under investigation at the city’s judicial office. The hotel has been shut down.