Ten women died and 14 were in a serious condition after botched operations at a government mass sterilization "camp" in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, officials said on Tuesday.
The women fell ill on Monday, two days after surgery at a so-called family planning camp at a village. Such camps are held regularly in Chhattisgarh and other Indian states as part of a long-running effort to control India's booming population.
"It was a serious matter of negligence. It was unfortunate," the chief minister of the state, Raman Singh, told reporters. Four officials have been suspended and an investigation will be held, he said.
The cause of the deaths was not yet clear, but officials said they were looking into several possibilities, including whether the surgical equipment was infected.