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"Altogether 23 children were have been killed in Lahe township and 13 killed in Nanyun township since June because of this unknown disease," (Source.)

Just read the above sentence on a local "Times" newspaper. I think the usage "were have been" is wrong. What should be the proper usage there?

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  • I believe that is the source. Please edit the post if it is incorrect and include sources whenever possible.
    – Em.
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 5:20
  • @Max Thanks, it is the correct source, but I read it on a newspaper and thus unaware of the online source. Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 5:43
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    The quote is actually "Altogether 23 children were have been killed in Lahe township and 13 killed in Nanyun township since June because of this unknown disease." The author probably forgot to delete were when he decided to change the tense from simple past to past perfect or vice versa. Can't see any value for subsequent questioners here. Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 5:57
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    @kolunar I understand of course, and I applaud your effort to learn. It is no different than if I were trying to learn Burmese! This is not a usage, though. The author meant to write either were or have been and simply neglected to delete one or the other. It's just a typographical error. I hope you will ask many more questions about English usage. Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 6:23
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    @P.E.Dant Thanks for your answer, now I can assure my friends that there is no such thing as "were + have been", one less mistake to make. Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 7:43

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This is a typo. I'm betting they originally wrote "were", and wanted to delete that and put "have been", but forgot to actually delete "were".

Were have been is not valid English.

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