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Poultry Market Source of Bird Flu Outbreak Near Moscow

A senior Russian veterinary official says a bird and animal market in southern Moscow is the source of last week's bird flu outbreak on nearby farms.

Alexei Alexeyenko said Sunday the section of the market where the outbreak began has been closed. Tests are also being carried out on the dead birds to determine if they carried the H5N1 strain, which is deadly to humans.

Russian authorities say they found bird flu on two farms south and north of Moscow. They say they do not yet know the origin of the dead birds found in the market, but the Moscow region's chief veterinary official, Valery Sitnikov, said bio-terrorism cannot be ruled out.

The H5N1 bird flu strain has killed 167 people since 2003. Most of the victims were Asians.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.