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An impoverished Arab tribe in southern Iraq received medical care and supplies earlier this month from Iraqi and coalition forces, military officials say.

The Lahijia tribe, part of the Abbu Muhammed tribe, lives in the village of Rota in what was once marshland near Basra. Saddam Hussein persecuted the tribes who lived there and drained the marshes after the first Gulf War, according to a news release issued by Multi-National Corps-Iraq.

A total of 450 men, women and children were seen during the Nov. 2 mission, according to Yousif Yousif, a physician with the Iraqi advisory task force of the 44th Medical Command.

Livestock was examined and medicine, food and blankets were provided during the mission, which was conducted by the Iraqi Army, provincial councils, local veterinarians and community leaders.

The community’s needs are great, officials say. "There is no running water or electricity," said Maj. Scott Roberts, deputy of the reconciliation cell of Multi-National Corps-Iraq.

Most of the people don’t have shoes and the village hasn’t had a school for children to attend since 1977, he said.

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