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Ops women 'killed by tainted drugs'

Thirteen women who died after undergoing sterilisation operations in central India were apparently killed by tainted drugs, officials have said.

Chhattisgarh state health minister Amar Agarwal said preliminary findings suggest that a poisonous chemical compound, zinc phosphate, got mixed in with the drugs at the manufacturing firm whose owner has been arrested. Government laboratories are expected to give a final report by Monday.

Dozens of women who underwent surgery in the government-run sterilisation campaign became ill, and at least 13 have died in the last week.

SK Mandal, the state's chief medical officer, said today that post-mortem examination reports did not suggest any surgical faults during the sterilisation procedures.

The doctor who performed the operations remains in custody. He has been accused of performing too many procedures in one day.

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