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At least nine killed as 'Vampire' mania spreads in Malawi

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 01:44

Since September, a vampire scare has triggered mob violence in Malawi that has killed at least nine people accused of being blood suckers. Pascale Davies reports.

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Paying respects at the graveside of a mother and her 32-year-old son. Both were accused of being vampires, so were beaten to death by an angry mob. It's a worrying development in Malawi, where belief in witchcraft is widespread in rural areas. (SOUNDBITE) (Chichewa) ESNAT KONDANI, CHRISTY'S GRANDMOTHER, SAYING; "My grand-daughter was with her son who was carrying a bag on his back. It had so many pockets and among the items he was carrying was an inflatable mattress. When the angry villagers saw that and the special drinking bottle he was holding they thought he was a blood sucker, a vampire and they started beating him and killed them both." Since September, a vampire scare in the east African nation has triggered mob violence in four districts - killing at least nine people, accused of being blood suckers. The attacks spread to Malawi's second biggest city Blantyre on Wednesday (October 18). One person was torched, another stoned to death. Many say they are living in fear of the violence. Police on Friday (October 20) said 140 suspected members of vigilante mobs had been arrested. Authorities also blame a criminal gang seeking to terrorize residents. Some UN staff have been pulled out of the affected districts, sighting security concerns. The vampire rumors appear to have originated in Mozambique, although it's not clear what has sparked them. Police now trying to contain the situation and ensure the violence doesn't spread.

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At least nine killed as 'Vampire' mania spreads in Malawi

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 01:44