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8 assaulted on rain holding accusations

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Some villagers in Phalombe District have attacked eight people and burnt down six houses over suspicions that the victims were using magic to bring a dry spell which has hit the district.

According to police reports, on Tuesday, a mob heavily beat up six of the victims, leaving one with serious injuries admitted to Holy Cross Private Hospital in Phalombe while two women were forced to swallow a handful of raw pepper.

Phalombe Police spokesperson, Innocent Moses, said some of the attackers have been arrested while others have fled to neighbouring Mozambique.

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“The incidents happened in Kathebwe Village, under Group Village Head Nthambula, Traditional Authority Chiwalo. We went and rescued the women and they are in the hands of police for protection,” Moses said.

After assaulting the victims and burning their houses, Moses said, the mob also destroyed crops in the victims’ fields and stole items such as furniture and fertiliser.

Six of the suspects are in police custody waiting to answer several charges including that of assault.

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