Goat detained over armed robbery

LAGOS Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:10am EST

A magician performs with a goat during the opening ceremony of the 33nd Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in Monaco January 15, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A magician performs with a goat during the opening ceremony of the 33nd Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in Monaco January 15, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Gaillard

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LAGOS (Reuters) - Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

"We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat," he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

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