Six hacked to death in attack on family of Burundi 'witch'

BUJUMBURA, Burundi - Villagers in northeast Burundi hacked to death a woman accused of witchcraft and five members of her family, including a baby and two other children, local authorities said Sunday.

On Saturday “a group of people attacked the home of an old woman called Marthe Kabatesi in the Bwambarangwe district,” said Reverien Nzigamasabo, govenor of Kirundo province where the killings took place.

“They hacked her to death with machetes,” he told AFP.

The assailants then attacked the woman’s two daughters and three grandchildren, including a three-month old baby.

“All the victims were killed by cuts to the head and neck,” Nzigamasabo said, calling the attack unjustifiable.

He added that the old woman targetted had been accused of being responsible for deaths in the region.

Witchcraft is widespread in some parts of the impoverished central African country and several people suspected by villagers of practising sorcery are killed each year.

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