Mozambique's state radio says seven people have died in a riot sparked by false rumors that health workers were spreading cholera.

A community leader was among those killed after people in the district of Gurue rioted with spears and machetes Thursday in central Mozambique.

Zambezia provincial governor Francisco Itai Meque says people who did not know cholera is caused by poor sanitary conditions falsely believed people were deliberately spreading cholera to keep the country in poverty.

Nearly 700 people have been diagnosed with cholera in Gurue. 19 people have died.

A week ago, one person died in northern Mozambique in a similar disturbance. About 300 people, armed with machetes and big knives, destroyed a health post.