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Curfew imposed in Malawi following 'vampire' killings

Curfew imposed in Malawi following 'vampire' killings

The Malawi government has imposed a night-time curfew on its citizens following the killing of five people accused of being vampires in the southern part of the country.

The government has restricted movement to 10 hours every day, between 07:00 and 17:00 local time.

According to reports, the curfew was imposed after groups of vigilante mobs killed five people they accused of drinking blood as part of magic rituals.

An official statement was released, saying that the matter was "of grave concern" to the "entire government", with President Peter Mutharika vowing to investigate the killings.

In a report on the matter, the United Nations said that it believed that vampirism rumours originated in Mozambique and then spread across the border into the districts of Mulanje and Phalombe in Malawi.

It has instructed all staff to relocate to a safer area as a precautionary measure.

As one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi has a number of aid agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating within its borders.

Education standards in the country are also very low, with a widespread belief in witchcraft.

This is not the first time that vigilante killings related to rumours of vampirism has hit the country.

The country experienced a similar outbreak in 2002, BBC reports. 

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