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Malaysia closes 400 schools after chemical pollution

Christian Fernsby |
Malaysia's government has shut more than 400 schools in a southern state after chemical pollution sickened dozens of students.

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The education ministry ordered 111 government schools and dozens of private educational institutions in part of Johor state to close for three days from Tuesday after many students complained of breathing difficulty and vomiting. The source of the pollution has not been identified.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said authorities are still trying to identify the companies behind the pollution and warned stern action will be taken.

In March, schools in the same area were shut for days after toxic waste illegally dumped into a river sickened 5,000 people. Authorities say the waste from that event was cleaned up and the incidents are unrelated.

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