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3 Oct, 2008 03:09

Quit smoking or die

Quit smoking or die

A Malaysian couple have been killed in a stop-smoking ritual in the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. They died after being beaten with broomsticks and motorbike helmets by their relatives during a family gathering on Wednesday.

The ritual was intended to help the man to kick the habit and the woman to recover from illness. Local police say that initially eight family members were detained but four of them were later released. One of the couple's sons and three other relatives remain in custody.

According to those detained, the man had complained he could not quit smoking and accoding to the woman she had liver problems. One of their nephews then suggested the beating ritual. Local media reported that it was he who convinced the other members of the Muslim family to beat each other.

Other family members suffered injuries in the beating ritual, including the couple’s children aged 14, 19 and 21. Their 15-year-old niece was taken to hospital.

Police are investigating the case. According to local media reports, the family is believed to have joined a cult not so long ago.