Monday, January 28, 2013
A series of ritual killings of young women in the West African nation of Cameroon has caused panic in the capital city Yaounde
Families are now refusing to let their daughters go out after a spate of gruesome killings of young girls who were abducted by the drivers of motorcycle taxis before being murdered and dismembered. Police have found 18 mutilated bodies on the streets of the capital in the past few weeks, five of them outside a nursery school, and all are believed to be linked to occult rituals. In some parts of the country traditional healers believe that body parts including eyes, genitals, breasts and tongues have mystical powers, with many believing they bring riches and other good fortune. Others believe that performing a human sacrifice will bring good luck. Ritual killings were common in Cameroon until the 1970s but as education spread, the number of murders decreased. Now families fear the practice is coming back, with the latest wave of killings causing near-hysteria in the capital city.