7 Accused Witches Killed in Tanzania
Police arrest 23 in brutal village slayings
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2014 7:20 AM CDT
File photo of a self-described witch doctor at work, this one in Kenya.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

(Newser) – Authorities in a remote village in Tanzania have made 23 arrests after seven people were hacked to death or burned alive because they were believed to be witches, reports the Telegraph. The victims were both men and women in the western village of Murufiti, with five of them older than 60. One of the accused ringleaders in the attack is a local traditional healer, or witch doctor. “They were attacked and burnt to death by a mob of villagers who accused them of engaging in witchcraft,” says a police official. Belief in witchcraft is widespread in the country, reports the BBC, which says that an estimated 500 suspected witches are killed per year.

 

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