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At Least 23 Dead In Pakistan After Eating Tainted Sweets

File photo of people buying sweets in Pakistan.
File photo of people buying sweets in Pakistan.

At least 23 people have died and dozens of others have become sick in central Pakistan after eating sweets that police suspect were tainted with pesticides.

Pakistani officials say the wave of deaths began when Umar Hayat, a resident of the Karor Lal Esan area in Punjab Province, bought baked sweets on April 17 to distribute to friends and family after the birth of his grandson.

Ten people who ate the sweets died the same day.

By April 25, authorities said 13 more people who became ill had died in hospitals and another 52 were still being treated.

The dead include the newborn boy’s father and seven of his uncles.

A senior police official in the area, Rameez Bukhari, said three people have been arrested in the case -- two brothers who run the bakery and a worker there.

Authorities suspect the worker may have inadvertently added pesticide to the sweet mix.

Based on reporting by AFP and Dawn