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13 family members die after reportedly eating toxic porridge in Namibia

Thirteen members of the same family have died in Namibia after eating porridge that authorities believe became toxic when it was mixed with a fermented substance left over from a homemade alcoholic beverage, the health ministry and the state broadcaster reported.

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation said another four people are in a critical condition in the hospital. NBC, quoting the Namibian health ministry, said at least 20 people consumed the "poisonous or toxic" porridge after it was mixed with sediment from a homemade beer.

The victims ranged in age from 2 to 33, the ministry said. The incident happened in the Kavango East region in the far northeast of the country.

"All patients are being monitored closely," the health ministry said in a statement, adding that additional blood samples were taken for alcohol poisoning testing.

The health ministry also said it had "deployed a team of social workers to provide psychosocial support and counselling to the bereaved family."

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