140 arrested in Malawi over 'vampires' hysteria mob attacks

140 arrested in Malawi over 'vampires' hysteria mob attacks
President Peter Mutharika

Around 140 people have been arrested in Malawi after deadly mob attacks on people suspected of being "vampires".

Police said more arrests are expected after the situation spun out of control, with nine people having been killed.

The attacks began last month after rumours of "blood-suckers" spread.

In the latest case, a man with epilepsy was burned to death in Blantyre, the southern African nation's second-largest city. Another person there was stoned to death.

President Peter Mutharika has appealed for calm in the four districts where the mob attacks have taken place, saying this week that "my government will offer protection from these alleged blood-suckers".

The United Nations and US Embassy have blacklisted some of the areas as dangerous zones for staffers.

Inspector general of police Lexon Kachama said: "The biggest challenge is that thieves and robbers have now taken advantage of the situation and are mounting illegal roadblocks at night in order to harass people."

Government officials have said the attacks are harming the deeply impoverished country's image.

Residents including health officials, teachers and traditional leaders have said their homes were destroyed after rumours spread that they were harbouring "vampires".

AP


More in this Section

Khashoggi fiancee says she wants justice over ‘great betrayal and deception’Khashoggi fiancee says she wants justice over ‘great betrayal and deception’

Mediterranean countries risk becoming ‘melting pots’ for coronavirus – expertMediterranean countries risk becoming ‘melting pots’ for coronavirus – expert

Saudi suspects tried in absentia over Khashoggi death in TurkeySaudi suspects tried in absentia over Khashoggi death in Turkey

Britain wins bidding war for satellite company OneWebBritain wins bidding war for satellite company OneWeb


Lifestyle

Like it or not, video meetings are here to stay. Home editor Eve Kelliher gets an expert's secrets to preparing interiors for their close-up.How to ensure your home is always camera-ready in the Zoom era

Tougher plants, smaller plots and more communal spaces will grow in popularity, says Hannah Stephenson.What will gardens of the future look like?

Ciara McDonnell chats with four women who’ve decided to embrace their natural hair colour after time away from the salonBack to my roots: Four women who've decided to embrace their natural hair colour

Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play, and there are many things you can build or buy to help them along, says Kya deLongchampsGarden adventures: Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play

More From The Irish Examiner