South Africa

23 Dead After Ritual Circumcisions in South Africa

Practice common among some South African ethnic groups

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South African police said Friday they had launched a series of murder inquiries after 23 males died while undergoing circumcision during traditional rites of passage into manhood.

The 23 — aged between 13 and 21 — died in various places across the country's northeastern Mpumalanga province over the course of a week.

"We have opened 22 cases of murder and one of inquest," regional police spokesman Leonard Hlathi told AFP.