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200 stray dogs killed in Baghdad

Baghdad authorities killed more than 200 stray dogs on Sunday, the opening day of a campaign to cull dog packs roaming the capital city.

The campaign was prompted by a spate of fatal attacks on residents.

Three teams of veterinarians and police officers used poisoned meat and rifles to kill the animals, according to the Associated Press.

Dr. Hassan Chaloub, an official at the veterinary hospital supervising the effort confirmed that the campaign started Sunday in wester Baghdad and will move to the eastern half of the city early next year. He said the capital has no dog shelters.

Thirteen people died in August in the capital after being attacked by dogs, according to Baghdad’s provincial council, which is overseeing the campaign.

Under Saddam Hussein, authorities killed stray dogs in the capital almost every year, but the practice ended with his ouster in 2003. Since then, local officials estimate, the number of strays in Baghdad has grown to more than a thousand.

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