140 arrested in Malawi after mob attacks on 'vampires'

Police in Malawi say they have made 140 arrests after deadly mob attacks on people suspected to be "vampires."

The inspector general of Malawi's police, Lexon Kachama, tells The Associated Press that the situation had spun out of control.

Nine have been killed in the attacks that began last month. In the latest case, Kachama says a man with epilepsy was burned to death in Blantyre, the southern African country's second-largest city.

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

The United Nations has blacklisted some of the areas as dangerous zones for staffers.