12 Moz prisoners die in cells

2009-03-17 15:52

Maputo - Twelve prisoners, part of a group of 29 arrested for violence in the northern Mogincual district of Nampula province, died in police cells, Televisao de Mozambique [TVM] reported on Tuesday.

The station, showing pictures of the corpses in its Tuesday mid-day bulletin, said the prisoners had died on Monday in mysterious circumstances.

Police have confirmed the death of the prisoners.

TVM said in the report that the national commander of the police had issued a statement confirming that the dead were part of 29 people who were arrested in Mogincual district for violence this month in that district.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said it lamented the death of the 12 prisoners, reported TVM.

Waves of violence over misunderstandings about a cholera outbreak have resulted in the death of 2 Red Cross employees and 2 police officers while several others have been injured.

The police arrested some of the demonstrators who were accusing the government and aid agencies like the Red Cross of "manufacturing" cholera through the distribution of chlorine.

Mogincual district has been hit by a cholera outbreak since the beginning of February and more than 15 people died from the water-borne disease.

Cholera has hit Mozambique since 1973 and each year thousands of people are treated while several hundreds die of the disease throughout the country.

Apart from a cholera outbreak, Mogincual district, situated 100 kilometres from the provincial capital Nampula, is faced with severe hunger where more than 150 000 people are reportedly surviving on wild fruits.