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Italian man cuts out eyeballs during mass

VIAREGGIO, Italy, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- An Italian man who cut out his eyeballs while in church with his mother said he had done so under orders from "voices," police said.

The man, 46, mutilated himself during Sunday mass at the church of Sant'Andrea in Viareggio, a large seaside resort on the west coast of northern Italy, Adnkronos International reported. Police officers recovered his eyeballs, and surgeons tried to reattach them but said the man is expected to remain blind.

The man said he had been hearing voices.

The Rev. Antonio Tanganelli said horrified worshipers saw the man in the aisle cutting his eyes.

"It was shocking and happened totally unexpectedly. Just as I was starting my sermon, the man stood up and gouged out both his eyes," Tanganelli said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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