FIJI YOUTHS BEAT ELDERLY MAN OVER WITCHCRAFT CLAIM

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 8, 1999 – PACNEWS/Fiji Times)---Five youths on Fiji’s southern island of Kadavu have been arrested and charged for beating up an elderly man because he was allegedly practicing witchcraft, the Fiji Times newspaper reports.Fiji police say the elderly man, Lasarusa Mara, suffered serious head injuries and was admitted to the hospital.

Preliminary investigations revealed that gossip about the victim’s involvement in witchcraft was the cause of the attack.

The youths, aged between 17 and 21, allegedly assaulted the man with broken beer bottles.

Tension is said to be high in the victim’s village and police have been called in to discuss the issue with the villagers to prevent similar attacks in the future.

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