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'Three Cups Of Tea' Co-Author Commits Suicide

Officials say a co-author of the book “Three Cups of Tea,” an account of school-building in Pakistan and Afghanistan that ran into controversy over some exaggerated claims, has committed suicide.

Medical authorities said an investigation found that David Oliver Relin, 49, took his own life in the middle of November in the northwestern U.S. state of Oregon.

“Three Cups of Tea,” which has sold about 4 million copies since publication in 2006, told the story of how the other co-author, Greg Mortenson, became involved in building schools, mostly for girls, in poor rural parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The story came under scrutiny last year when U.S. journalists alleged that Mortenson had fabricated or embellished details.

AP reports that Relin acknowledged in legal documents that the allegations hurt his livelihood.

In April, Mortenson agreed to pay his Central Asia Institute charity $1 million following a court probe into financial mismanagement at the organization.

Mortenson also agreed to resign from the institute's board over "financial transgressions."

Local sources confirmed to RFE/RL the construction and operation of a number of schools in Pakistan by the Central Asia Institute.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters and AFP