Thousands of birds culled as Iraq battles to contain avian flu outbreak

Widower Amina Qader gazed sadly as her 70 ducks and chickens, once her main source of income, were hauled away Tuesday in plastic bags destined to be buried alive in a nearby muddy grave.

Her birds are among more than 500,000 culled in the past two days across northern Iraq as this war-ravaged country battled to control the deadly &to=' target=_blank>bird flu virus. The mass bird slaughter followed Monday's announcement that a 15-year-old girl who died Jan. 17 had the deadly H5N1 strain.

"I am so scared of bird flu so I gave all my birds away to be killed, even though none were ill," she says. "We've relied on them for years for our livelihood. What are we to do now?"

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