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Two burned alive in Zambia anti-foreigner riots Monday

Zambian police apprehend a man in Lusaka where residents have attacked and looted foreign-run shops, on April 19, 2016 (AFP Photo/Salim Dawood)

Zambian police apprehend a man in Lusaka where residents have attacked and looted foreign-run shops, on April 19, 2016 (AFP Photo/Salim Dawood)<br />

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

The violence erupted earlier this week in slum areas of the capital 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 spokeswoman Charity Chanda said in a statement.

Police were unable to confirm the nationality of Monday’s victims.

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

Several thousand refugees from Rwanda 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.



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