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— Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here.

At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order.

Most in the Muslim world consider pigs unclean animals and do not eat pork because of religious restrictions. They are banned entirely in some Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

However in other parts of the Muslim world, pigs are often raised by religious minorities who can eat pork.

Meanwhile, a Mexico City toddler who traveled to Texas with family to visit relatives is the first confirmed death in the United States from swine flu.

The boy, who was nearly 2 years old, arrived in border city of Brownsville with "underlying health issues" April 4 and developed flu symptoms four days later, the Texas Department of State Health Services said. He was taken to a Brownsville hospital April 13 and transferred to the following day to a hospital in Houston, where he died Monday night.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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