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Fatalities after drinking contaminated beer rises to 72 in Mozambique; police investigate

Health authorities in Mozambique say three more people have died from drinking contaminated beer, bringing the number of fatalities to 72.

Provincial Health, Women and Social Welfare Director Paula Bernardo told Radio Mozambique on Tuesday that the number of people hospitalized had decreased to 35, from 196.

Police spokesman Zeferino Sande said in an interview with Radio Mozambique that the barrel in which the beer was brewed has disappeared and that their investigation has no leads yet.

Officials on Sunday said they believed the beer was poisoned with crocodile bile at a funeral in the northeastern Tete province over the weekend. Johan Marais, a South African reptile expert, has refuted the claim, saying crocodile bile has not proven poisonous. Medical tests are yet to confirm the exact source of contamination.