NAIROBI, Kenya – A group of up to 300 young men have burned to death 11 people suspected of being witches and wizards in western Kenya — in some cases slitting their victims' throats or clubbing them to death before burning their bodies, officials said.
The gang moved from home to home through two villages, identifying their victims by using a list with names of suspected witches and wizards and the kind spells they were believed to have cast on the community, said Ben Makori, a local councilor.
"The villagers are complaining that the (suspected) wizards and witches are making the bright children in the community dumb ... These (suspected) witches are not doing good things to us," Makori told The Associated Press on the phone.
Deputy police spokesman Charles Owino said the gang hunted down the eight women and three men in the western Kenya villages of Kekoro and Matembe. Most of the victims were between 70 and 90 years old, Owino said.
Senior administrator Njoroge Ndirangu said the gang hunted down their victims Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
In some cases the gang pulled the victims out of their homes, slit their throats or clubbed them to death, said a police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
The victims were then thrown back into their homes, which the gang had already set on fire, the officer said. He said 36 houses were burned.