In a somewhat bizarre occurrence, mourners in Tanzania’s Handeni District failed to bury the body of Daudi Mohamed after they [the mourners] were attacked by bees at a cemetery, local publication The Citizen reports.

According to the mentioned publication, the mourners are said to have abandoned the body for about one hour.

Eye witnesses said bees could be spotted even during the grave digging exercise but that they posed no threat until the deceased’s body was brought to the cemetery for interment.

According to Mr Salehe Ramadhani, it was only after mourners had arrived at the cemetery with the coffin bearing the body of Mohamed for the actual burial service.

“That was at around 2pm when all of a sudden, the bees increased in number and started attacking the sympathizers. They had to run for their lives, without caring about the coffin,” he narrated.

The deceased’s son hesitated in leaving and was stung by the bees until he left, leaving the coffin behind.

“Actually, the incident was very bad as there were some people, who were badly injured after they failed to run away from the angry bees,” said Salehe.

The Sheikh of Vibaoni Ward, Kombo Nkucha, who was one of the victims, said he also had to run away from the bees that attacked him on the back and on the neck.

Following the incident, Sheikh Nkucha had to advise the deceased’s relatives to find another place for the burial instead of going back to the area, where there could have been more effects.

The Chief Medical Officer of Handeni District Hospital, Dr Hudi Shehedadi, confirmed receiving nine casualties as two of them were seriously injured by the bees and the rest were treated and discharged.

“We received nine people who had been brought here for treatment after being stung by the bees during a burial but two of them were seriously injured while the rest were discharged after receiving treatment”, said Dr Hudi.

The spokesperson of the bereaved family, Rashid Kilagula, dispelled a widely held view in some communities around Tanga and Tanzania in general that the occurrence could have been a result of some superstitious beliefs.

He however said they planned to bury the body of their relative later in the evening of the day in the hope that the bees would have left the area.


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