Police arrest 29 members of cannibal cult who murdered ‘sorcerers’ and ate their brains raw and made soup from their genitals

Members of a cannibal cult in Papua New  Guinea have been charged with the murders of seven suspected witch  doctors.

The 29 people, including a 13-year-old boy,  butchered five men and two women believed to practice ‘black magic’, allegedly  ate their brains raw and made soup from their genitalia in the remote jungle  region around the town of Madang.

The cult members also drank their victims’  blood believing they would attain supernatural powers and become bullet proof, a  police spokesman said.

Disrupted: Voters line up to cast their ballots in Tari in Papua New Guinea's highlands last month during a two-week vote which has been delayed a series of cannibalistic killings of suspected sorcerers

Disrupted: Voters line up to cast their ballots in Tari  in Papua New Guinea’s highlands last month during a two-week vote which has been  delayed a series of cannibalistic killings of suspected sorcerers

 

On guard: The murders, carried out by a cult which has set out to tackle extortion by self-proclaimed sorcerers, has caused voters to fear for their safety

On guard: The murders, carried out by a cult which has  set out to tackle extortion by self-proclaimed sorcerers, has caused voters to  fear for their safety

Madang Police Commander Anthony Wagambie  confirmed the acts of cannibalism reported in a New Guinean newspaper and  added:

‘They don’t think they’ve done anything  wrong; they admit what they’ve done openly.’

Mr  Wagambie said that the killers believed  that the victims were practicing sorcerers and that they had been overcharging  poor villagers as well as demanding sexual favours in return for their  services.

The arrests have delayed elections in  the  Commonwealth country as voters are deterred from taking part.

They have hampered the  two-week ballot  currently taking place as people, particularly those  near the cult’s  headquarters, have been fearing for their safety.

The ballot was due to end today, but voting  is now expected to finish next week.

Further delays have been caused by  allegations of bribery, vote rigging and problems getting to the ballot  boxes.

The cult started out attempting to tackle  extortion by self-proclaimed sorcerers who were demanding money from the  sick.

A local political activist told The Sydney  Morning Herald that sorcery was ‘getting of hand’ in the villages.

They said: ‘It used to be a good thing, but  now it’s turned into a kind of cult.

‘They killed [the first victim] on the  roadside. They cut out his heart, they cut out his brains they drank his  blood.’

Sorcery and witchcraft is widely  believed in  the South Pacific nation and many people seek alternative  explanations to  misfortune, illness, accidents or death.

The country brought in a Sorcery Act to  protect against attacks on those accused of practising black magic.

The cost of a witch doctor revealing a cause  of death or casting out an evil spirit is usually 1000 New Guinean kina (£303),  plus a pig and a bag of rice, but according to local police the  victims were  charging more and were also demanding sex as payment.

The killings saw police raid Biamb village,  near Madang last week and arrest 29 people, eight of them women.

The leader of the cult is reportedly still on  the run.

Four of the seven victims were murdered last  week.

Mr Wagambie said that no remains had been  recovered, adding: ‘They’re probably all eaten up.’

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