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Woman's tale of carrying 12 babies a hoax

TUNIS, Tunisia, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Tunisian woman who claimed to be expecting 12 babies has been exposed as a fraud with psychological problems, the country's Health Ministry said.

Known by the initials "AF," the woman had told local medical she was nine months' pregnant with six boys and six girls, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

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An investigation by the Tunisian Health Ministry revealed the woman has "psychological problems and is unlikely even to be pregnant," a ministry spokesman said.

"Our staff interviewed her at length, but even her pregnancy appears to be in her imagination," the spokesman said. "She's claiming to be nine months pregnant with six boys and six girls, but there's absolute nothing about her appearance which indicates this."

The woman refused to be examined by a physician and "we can't even contact her," the spokesman said. "She's gone into hiding."

A doctor at No'man al Adab Hospital, the only hospital in Gafsa, where the woman lives, confirmed she hadn't been under the hospital's care and "undoubtedly" fabricated her condition, the British newspaper said.

"It may be that she's trying to make money from television," the doctor said. "These kind of people can make thousands from appearing on programs. Perhaps that's what motivated her."

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The woman's husband, had hired a lawyer to handle media inquiries, also has disappeared, the doctor said.

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