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Wednesday, October 28, 1998 Published at 14:51 GMT

World: Africa

Lightning kills football team

Lightning also struck a match in South Africa

All 11 members of a football team were killed by a bolt of lightning which left the other team unhurt, a Congolese newspaper has reported.

Thirty other people received burns at the match in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kinshasa daily newspaper L'Avenir said local opinion - known to believe in charms and spells - was divided over whether someone had cursed the team.

The two sides were drawing 1-1 in the match in eastern Kasai Province when the lightning struck the visiting team.

"The athletes from [the home team] Basanga curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed," the paper said.

There was no official confirmation of the report - a rebel war affects much of the east of the country.

The first strike

In a similar incident at the weekend, a premier league soccer match in Johannesburg was brought to an abrupt end when lightning struck the ground.

Half the players from both teams - the Jomo Cosmos and the Moroka Swallows - dropped to the turf.

Several writhed on the grass holding their ears and their eyes. Spectators and coaching staff ran onto the pitch to help. Fortunately no-one was killed.

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