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Lightning strike kills worshippers at Rwandan church

Lightning strike kills worshippers at Rwandan church

A lightning strike in Rwanda has killed at least 16 people, an official has said. 

According to an AFP report, at least 16 people were killed and dozens more injured when a lightning strike hit a Seventh-Day Adventist church in the southern district of Nyaruguru on Saturday. 

Local mayor Habitegeko Francois told AFP that two died from their injuries, while around 140 people were rushed to hospital for treatment. 

The strike occurred around midday on Saturday, in the mountainous region near the Rwanda and Burundi border, in the town of Gihemvu. 

"Doctors say that only three [more churchgoers] are in critical condition but they are getting better," AFP reports the mayor as saying. 

The mayor added that a group of around 18 students were also struck by lightning on Friday, killing one person. 

Reports indicate that three are still in hospital, while the rest have been discharged. 

Saturday's tragedy comes less than two weeks after the government closed down more than 700 churches, for failing to comply with building regulations and noise pollution. 

According to local news outlet, the French Panor Actu, a number of the churches closed by government did not have the requisite lightning rods, which are intended to protect structures from lightning strikes. 

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