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Death Toll Rises To 26 From Pesticide-Tainted Sweets In Pakistan

Authorities in central Pakistan say that at least 26 people have died, and dozens of others have been hospitalized, after eating sweets that were tainted with pesticides.

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 26, authorities said 16 more people who became ill had died in hospitals.

About 50 others were still being treated on April 26.

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 had 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 Reuters, AFP, and dpa

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