Police say five women accused of practicing witchcraft have been beaten to death in a village in India's eastern state of Jharkhand.

Police official Arun Kumar Singh says residents of Kinjia village dragged the women out of their homes early Saturday and beat them with sticks and iron rods.

Singh says the attackers blamed the women for several accidents and misfortunes suffered by villagers, including the death of an infant in Kinjia earlier in the week.

Superstitious beliefs persist in many parts of Jharkhand and have been behind similar attacks on women in the state.

Kinjia is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the state capital, Ranchi.