Two burned alive in Zambian xenophobic riots

2016-04-20 17:59


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lusaka - At least two people have been burned to death in Zambia during riots targeting Rwandan-owned shops over allegations that foreigners were behind a string of ritual killings, police said on Wednesday.

The violence erupted earlier this week in slum areas of the capital Lusaka after the recent murders of at least seven people, whose body parts such as ears, hearts and penises had been removed.

Hundreds of residents stoned houses and shops owned by foreign nationals, with some foreigners seeking refuge at police stations as looters took food, drinks, refrigerators and other electrical appliances.

"The official number of people who have died from the time the looting started is two. These are the ones who were burned to death on 18 April 2016 in Kanyama," police spokesperson Charity Chanda said in a statement.

Police said 62 shops had been looted, but they were unable to confirm the nationality of Monday's victims, who were burned with firewood and vehicle tyres.

Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila has blamed the riots on false allegations that a suspected ritual killer of foreign nationality had been released from police custody.

He said that more than 200 people had been arrested.

"Elements in Lusaka with criminal intent took advantage of the pain and grief we all felt over the suspected ritual killings," Mwila said in a television address on Monday evening.

Several thousand refugees from Rwanda, which was embroiled in genocide in 1994, live in Lusaka.

They run many of the shops in the affected parts of the city, and residents have accused them of using the body parts for witchcraft.

No rioting was reported overnight or on Wednesday morning, with police reinforcements on street patrol in trouble-hit areas.

In South Africa last year, mobs in Johannesburg and in Durban targeted migrants, ransacking their homes and burning shops.

At least seven people died and thousands were displaced, with citizens from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique among those affected.

Read more on:    zambia  |  xenophobia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.