Xenophobia: Riots rock Zambia over ritual killings

Photo: One of the looted shops

Residents of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, on Monday looted shops belonging to foreigners, accusing them of involvement in ritual killings, police said.

The xenophobic attacks reportedly started at a house and a shop belonging to an entrepreneur from Rwanda in the low-income Zingalume neighbourhood.

They then spread to nearby Chunga neighbourhood.

Photo: Residents carrying their loot

Zingalume residents stoned police, who responded with tear gas. The relentless rioting forced police to seek reinforcements.

The rioting followed the discovery of a mutilated body in Zingalume on Saturday.

Four suspects were arrested on Sunday.

The discovery was the sixth of its kind in or near the two neighbourhoods in two months.

The victims are believed to have been killed to obtain body parts for use in rituals aimed at obtaining wealth or power.

Photo: Zambian police trying to control the situation

“The residents, who were chanting slogans, have accused us, the police, of not providing enough security to them.

“Now they are saying these foreign businessmen are behind the ritual killings.

“We appeal for calm, as police are still investigating these murders, and all those behind them will be brought to book,” police spokesperson Charity Munganga-Chanda said.

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