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Village witch-hunt triggers deadly violence

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-05-05

At least 25 people died in a southeastern Guinean town during a two-day spate of communal violence sparked by a witch-hunt, police said Thursday.

AFP - At least 25 people have been killed in communal violence in the southeastern Guinean town of Galakpaye, police said Thursday.

However other sources reached by telephone spoke of 36 dead in the clashes sparked by a witch-hunt and lynching following the mysterious deaths of several young men.

The violence pitting indigenous Kpeles against ethnic Malinkes hailing from other parts of Guinea erupted overnight Monday and raged on throughout Tuesday, the sources said.

Ten people were said to have been burnt alive while nine seriously wounded victims were transferred to the regional hospital at N’Zerekore.

Security forces were rushed to the scene of the clashes and made several arrests, the sources added.

In a bid to determine the cause of the mystery deaths that occurred over the past two months, Galakpaye residents had called in a medicine man from neighbouring Liberia, who accused an 80-year-old Malinke of casting spells on the victims.

The Malinke promptly had his throat cut by a relative of one of the dead, sparking the explosion of violence.

The head of the regional rural development body, Etienne Covana Molmou, ordered the Liberian, who had returned home, to be brought back.

Date created : 2011-05-05

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