Attacks on albinos continue in Tanzania Witchdoctors allege that albino body parts have magical properties

ARUSHA, Tanzania (AA) – In the latest attack on albinos in Tanzania, unidentified people broke into a home in the Rukwa region in the country’s southwest where they chopped off the hand of an albino child.

“The attackers broke into the house where the boy was sleeping with his mother who tried in vain to stop the incident,” Rukwa Regional Police Commander Jacob Mwaruanda told The Anadolu Agency on Monday.

He said the 26-year-old mother, Prisca Shaban, had been injured after having been struck repeatedly for refusing to give up the child.

“Instead, she continued to fight back before they [the attackers] severed the child’s right hand and ran away with it,” added Mwaruanda.

He said the incident had occurred overnight while the family and neighbors were sleeping.

Albino killings in Tanzania are associated with witchcraft, as albino body parts are believed in certain circles to have magical properties.

A special committee recently formed by President Jakaya Kikwete to combat the phenomenon was due to begin its activities on Monday.

Meanwhile, police in northwestern Tanzania’s Geita region arrested 32 witchdoctors with alleged links to attacks on albinos.

“The arrested witchdoctors were found in possession of human body parts and oil of unknown origin,” Geita Regional Police Commander Joseph Konyo told AA.

On March 5, Tanzania’s High Court sentenced four people to death for killing 22-year-old albino in 2008.

At least 75 albinos have been killed in Tanzania since 2006. Over the same period, more than 100 others have been attacked, injured or had some of their body parts chopped off.

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