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Mozambique Prisoners Died of Asphyxiation, Report Says

November 25, 2000|Associated Press

MAPUTO, Mozambique — Scores of prisoners who were found dead died of asphyxiation, according to a preliminary report Friday by government doctors.

Most of the dead were supporters of the opposition party. The ruling party denied an opposition leader's allegation that it orchestrated the deaths. The inmates were found dead overnight Tuesday in a prison in Montepuez, 1,000 miles north of Maputo, the capital.

State television reported Friday that 83 prisoners had died after more than 100 were squeezed into a cell at the prison.

Neither the government nor police have explained why so many prisoners were in one cell.

After performing autopsies on several prisoners, a team of government doctors said in a preliminary report that the victims had died of asphyxiation. The Mozambican doctors were waiting for a report from South African doctors, who arrived in Montepuez on Friday, before issuing a final report.

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