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An Ethiopian man who woke up in his coffin during his burial two months ago has died

An Ethiopian man who woke up in his coffin during his burial two months ago has died.

Hirpha Negero was pronounced dead in November and was placed inside a coffin, where he lay for five hours, but during the funeral villagers heard knocking from inside the coffin.

Mr Hirpha told the BBC at the time what he experienced: “I heard someone crying. I was suffocating and trying to tear away the shroud. I was so weak, unable to speak out.”

Then he said he managed to start calling, “Is there anybody around?” The village undertaker Etana Kena said that people were shocked and ran away and he had had to open the coffin alone.

After the initial shock, the burial ceremony then turned into a celebration. The undertaker, who is also Mr Hirpha’s uncle, said he has buried more than 50 or 60 bodies, but had never seen anything like this before.  Mr Hirpha said he had had visions when he was unconscious of “a beautiful green place” where a man dressed in white told him to “go back”.

Dr Birra Leggese told the BBC that Mr Hirpha had probably been in a “deep coma”.

The same undertaker buried Mr Negero for the second time on Thursday, one day after he died. He said that this time he was certain his nephew was dead because he had witnessed his long sickness.

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Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has refused to back either of the two main presidential candidates in this month’s election, the Nigerian Guardian reports.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is challenging the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari, but there are dozens of other hopefuls.

“I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection,” Soyinka is quoted as saying. “My position is simply that it is time for a totally new direction,” he told an audience in Lagos, the Guardian reports.

He said that activists had been meeting to come up with a consensus candidate who would be worthy of voting for.

Acknowledging that the vote for an alternative may not make much difference now he said it could “sow a seed… that will germinate eventually”.

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