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Play stops rain in Niger village

NIAMEY (AFP) - Police arrested 16 couples caught making love in empty cattle-troughs in a village in Niger where the elders blame 'debauchery' for drought, the national ANP news agency reported. Police pounced on the pairs after Muslim clerics in Nkonni village complained that their 'illicit' activities were hampering the effect of collective prayers for rain.

The mayor of Nkonni said the unlikely lovenests were spotted after the discovery nearby of the decomposing body of a vagabond who had apparently been sexually assaulted.

Last week, residents of Zinder, east of Niamey, stripped scantily clad young women in public after sages said the women were holding off the rain with their 'indecent' dress.