KRATIE, Cambodia At least 11 people have died and more than 120 others including children have been hospitalised since Thursday after drinking tainted water from the canal and rice fields in Chetr Borei district's Kantuot commune, in southeast Cambodia, the Khmer Times reported.

Kratie Provincial Governor Va Thorn said those involved in the incident drank water suspected of being contaminated with insecticides.

I just came back from the village. We sent health officials and armed forces to guard and help the people in the villages where many people are sick and have died, he said, adding that the authorities have distributed clean water to the villagers.

Police and local authorities have also used loudspeakers to inform villagers to stop using or drinking water that they took from the canal, he said.

We banned them from using water from a canal in the village that we preliminarily suspect was contaminated by insecticides which farmers used to kill weeds in their rice fields. It then flowed into the canal when it rained, he said.

Thorn added that residents from two villages � Sre Norn and Alorch � have used water from the canal for a long time, but have never experienced any serious problems.

We are waiting for the result from the laboratory in Phnom Penh where our health officials sent the sample, he said.

Spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Or Vandin, said Sunday that the ministry's working group is investigating the case.

Source: NAM News Network