Dozens of Iraqis were transferred to hospitals in the capital of Anbar province after eating suspected toxic foodstuffs distributed as part of relief efforts, a provincial police source said on Tuesday.
"Dozens of families in Ramadi, and five other nearby towns, were transferred to hospitals on Monday after apparently being poisoned by toxic foodstuffs," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The relief foodstuffs had been distributed by unknown groups of men to poor families earlier in the day in the violence-laden province, the source said.
The exact number of victims were not available yet, said the source, adding that some of the victims were in critical conditions.
Residents in the city, some 110 km west of Baghdad, often blame al-Qaida group in Iraq for deadly attacks after rifts emerged between Sunni tribes and al-Qaida's militants.
Al-Qaida's adherence to a hardline form of Sunni Islam, indiscriminate and mass killings have brought it into conflict with some Sunni tribes in the Anbar and other Iraqi areas.