Page last updated at 18:30 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Brazil boy found with 40 needles in 'black magic rite'


Some of the needles may have to stay there for good

A Brazilian toddler has been found with some 40 needles inside him, which police say his stepfather inserted during a possible "black magic" ritual.

Police said Roberto Carlos Magalhaes had confessed to sticking the sewing needles into the two-year-old boy, and had been arrested.

Mr Magalhaes said his mistress had told him ritually to kill the child to take revenge on his wife.

Doctors are set to begin operating on Thursday to remove some of the needles.

The toddler was taken to hospital in the north-eastern Bahia state by his mother, complaining of stomach pains and vomiting.

X-rays showed scores of sewing needles inside his neck, torso and legs. At least one had punctured a lung, another his liver.

'Revenge attack'

Police said Mr Magalhaes had broken down and confessed after being arrested.

"He did that for revenge, to get back at his wife," the police chief in the town of Ibotirama, Helder Fernandes Santana, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

"His mistress told him to kill the child through a macabre ritual," Mr Santana said.

The boy's mother told police she suspected the child had been the victim of a black magic ritual after she found suspicious objects in the home she shared with Mr Magalhaes - her husband of six months - and her six children.

Doctors said most of the needles would be removed, but not the ones inside organs as their removal could cause more damage.

They said there were no signs of wounds on the boy.

Reports say the boy is in a serious condition, but that he has shown some improvement since being admitted to hospital on Sunday.

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Times of India 42 needles found in Brazilian boy's body, 2 in heart - 1 hr ago
AFP via Yahoo! Needles discovered in Brazilian boy's heart - 2 hrs ago Boy riddled with needles - 10 hrs ago
IOL Stepfather put needles in toddler - police - 16 hrs ago

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