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Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 10:34 UK

Malaysia pair killed in 'ritual'

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A Malaysian couple have been beaten to death by four close family members in a ritual apparently intended to help one of them stop smoking, police have said.

They reportedly smashed the husband and wife's heads on a table, and beat them with broomsticks and motorbike helmets at a house in Kuala Lumpur.

The couple's 14-year-old daughter was also injured and taken to hospital.

One of the couple's sons and three other relatives remain in custody. Four others have been released, police said.

Ku Chin Wah, the head of the police crime investigation department in the capital, said the attack had taken place when Mohamed Ibrahim Kader Mydin, 47, and his wife, Rosina Mydin Pillay, 41, visited their family on Thursday.

A 23-year-old male relative suggested the couple undergo a ritual which involved all family members joining forces to beat up the couple to rid them of their ailments
Ku Chin Wah
Kuala Lumpur police

The gathering was part of celebrations to mark the end of fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Mohamed Ibrahim was seeking help to stop his smoking habit, while his wife was suffering from asthma and a liver ailment, Mr Ku said.

"Following this, a 23-year-old male relative suggested that the couple undergo a ritual which involved all family members joining forces to beat up the couple to rid them of their ailments," he told Malaysia's official Bernama news agency.

An ambulance was called but not for hours after the beatings, and neither the husband or the wife regained consciousness, he added.

Several other members of the family, including the couple's children, aged 14, 19 and 21, also suffered injuries in the incident, Bernama reported.


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