Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

Kidnapped Tanzanian children found mutilated for witchcraft

Ten children were kidnapped in December as their parents sold food

Men carry a coffin in Tanzania. File photo. AP
Men carry a coffin in Tanzania. File photo. AP

The mutilated bodies of at least six children have been found in Tanzania. They are believed to have been killed for witchcraft, authorities said.

The children, aged between two and nine years old, are thought to be a part of ten children who were kidnapped in the country last year, according to media reports.

Ears, teeth and limbs were removed by the kidnappers in Njombe, south-western Tanzania, authorities say, indicating witchcraft and superstitious beliefs might be in play.

Police have arrested one person who was a close relative of three of the children.

"This is all about superstitious beliefs and many believe they will get help from witchcraft," Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri told the BBC.

Of the ten children who went missing in Njombe in December while their parents were selling food at a market, four have been found, the BBC reported.

But CNN reports that all ten had been found dead, following a police search of the area.

"These murders are linked to witchcraft practices because that is the trend for such crimes, where herbalists ask people to get these human parts for money rituals," the country's deputy health minister Faustine Ndugulilehe told CNN.

Updated: January 29, 2019 05:13 PM