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Pakistan Orders Probe After Deaths Of 41 Children

ISLAMABAD -- Authorities in southern Pakistan have ordered an investigation into the deaths of 41 children who reportedly died of pneumonia and malnutrition in the Thar desert.

Authorities were reacting to reports from the Mithi district -- one of the least developed and most remote areas in the southeastern Sindh Province -- suggesting that more than 100 people in total had died because of famine and malnutrition.

Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the chief minister of Sindh, also ordered the arrest of senior health officials for neglecting their duties.

Shah said the cause of the deaths would have to be confirmed by the investigation. The chief minister said government records showed the death of 41 children, but there are fears the actual number may be higher.

Radio Mashaal with reporting from the AFP