Tomb raiders dig up 100 graves for voodoo rituals
Published 01/12/2012 | 05:00
TOMB raiders have dug up more than 100 graves at a cemetery in Benin for what authorities suspect is a black-market trade in human organs and skulls for voodoo ritual fetishes.
The incident is the most serious case of grave-robbing in the West African state, the world capital of voodoo where most of the country's nine million residents practise a benign form of the official religion.
Authorities in Dangbo, a village six miles from the capital Porto-Novo, began an investigation after a stonemason working at the cemetery said he spotted several masked men digging up the graves, from which organs and skulls were removed.
Body parts of humans and rare animals are prized by some people in central Africa for their supposed supernatural powers, and are used in occult ceremonies.
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