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- Dubai 04:00 05:25 12:20 15:41 19:09 20:35
Police are investigating the deaths of two more young people on Saturday from a county in Wales hit by a wave of recent suicides.
The death of the pair, reported by British media to be cousins aged 20 and 15, comes after 14 others aged under 27 are thought to have killed themselves in Bridgend County in south Wales in just over a year.
Officials have tried to play down any suggestion that the deaths may be linked to an Internet death cult, with the local Welsh Assembly lawmaker describing such suggestions as "absolute nonsense".
The 15-year-old boy died in hospital Friday after police were called to his home in the town of Bridgend on Thursday, where he had harmed himself.
The 20-year-old woman reported by British media to be his cousin was found dead Friday at a house in Folkestone, Kent, 400 kilometres away from Bridgend. She lived in Bridgend but had been visiting Folkestone.
Neither has been formally identified by police and officers have not said how they died, although media reports said they had hanged themselves.
The first in the recent wave of suicides came last January, when Dale Crole, 18, was found dead in a disused building.
The deaths have sparked fevered debate in the media about whether they are linked and connected to Internet social networking sites such as Bebo.
The local coroner Philip Walters, who is charged with establishing the cause of all violent, unnatural or sudden deaths, has said he is concerned but sees no connection between them.
Police have also played down any connection, while Madeleine Moon, the lawmaker who represents the area in the House of Commons, has criticised the media's coverage of the story, which she said could lead to copycat incidents.
Speaking after the latest deaths, Carwyn Jones, Bridgend's lawmaker in the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, said: "The idea that there's a link here, or an Internet cult, is absolute nonsense ... Every single case is now being reported to the nth degree, which makes it appear worse than it is."
He added that the county typically has around 20 suicides per year.
"I've been stunned by what I've seen in some of the newspapers -- saying it's a highly depressed seaside mining town is just completely mad," he added.
"People are extremely angry about the way the town has been portrayed." (AFP)
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