The United Nations has pulled staff out of southern Malawi after a superstitious ‘lynch mob’ killed at least six people ‘for being vampires .’
More than 100 riot officers were drafted into the region in response to the killings, but terrified armed mobs continued hunting for ‘vampires’ on the streets and set-up roadblocks.
Malawi Police Service said the victims had been accused of trying to suck people’s blood as part of magic rituals.
UN staff fled from two districts in the south of the country this week after six people were killed in three separate incidents in the area surrounding Mulanje Mountain.
The most recent attack happened at the weekend when an angry mob beat two people to death because they “suspected the two (victims) of being bloodsuckers,” police spokesman James Kadadzera said.
The victims were traveling to pray close to the mountain when they were intercepted by a violent crowd on their way through a village.
In another incident, a local chief was killed by a mob who accused him of colluding with ‘bloodsuckers.’
Kadadzera has condemned the rumors and called on vigilantes to stop.
“There is no evidence,” he said. “We blame communities for taking the law into their hands..nobody has come to police to complain.
“We are reminding people that rumors about bloodsuckers have been there since time immemorial but no case has ever been proven.”