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8 Africans sentenced to death for drugs in S. China
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Eight African drug smugglers were convicted and sentenced to death with two-year reprieves on Tuesday in south China's Guangdong Province, local official said.

Another African was jailed for life at the mass sentencing at Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, said a court official.

The four Ugandans, two Benin nationals and three Zimbabweans were convicted of involvement in trafficking drugs, ranging in amount from 654 to 1,986 grams, the official said.

In six cases, drugs were found in smugglers' bodies. About 1,200 grams of heroin was found in a 25-year-old woman named Asaria Mushangwe in June, the official said.

The largest amount of heroin, weighing 1,986 grams, was found in 39-year-old Ugandan woman Jean Ndawula Kirunda's luggage when she arrived at Guangzhou airport from Bangkok last year, the official said.

Four of the nine were in their twenties and the youngest was 22-year-old Taapatsa Lauraine Itayirufaro from Zimbabwe.

Tugwete Edith, 27, from Zimbabwe, female, was sentenced to life jail, the official said.

The other five were Fagbemi Ismaila Ayinde, 30, from Benin, man; Annet Namisango, 38, from Uganda, woman; Charles Candia, 23, from Uganda, man; Habiba Musa, 29, from Uganda, woman; and Ismailou Alamou Adechian, 33, from Benin, man.

(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2008)

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