Blast at sangoma's house not muti

2013-01-30 22:23

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Harare - Police in Zimbabwe say they have found traces of explosives at a sangoma's house where a massive blast killed six people and damaged 12 nearby buildings.

Police official Charity Charamba said the sangoma and accomplices, one of them a former police officer, were suspected of trying to extract a compound of mercury sometimes used in the manufacture of explosive materials.

Five people, including the sangoma, died on the spot on a township outside Harare on 21 January and the sixth died later. Neighbors at first feared the explosion was a traditional ritual to produce a deadly lightning bolt meant to strike down enemies or evil spirits.

Charamba said mercury compounds are often believed to fetch huge prices on illegal markets.

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