A two-year-old Brazilian boy has had 50 metal sewing needles inserted into his body as part of an apparent black magic ritual.
Some of the sewing needles stuck in the boy are too close to vital organs to pull out, surgeons warned today.
Brazilian media reported that a former stepfather of the toddler has been detained. He reportedly told police that he inserted the needles into the boy with the help of two women.
The police inspector in charge of the case told the Agencia Estado news agency that a black magic ritual involving the boy was a possible motive.
Dr Luiz Cesar Soltoski , who is treating the boy, said the child is in intensive care and that his condition has improved since he was admitted.
Surgeons hope to remove most of the needles, but some cannot be taken out as they are too close to his organs.