Zambia xenophobic riots: Two burned alive in Lusaka
Two people were burned to death on Monday during xenophobic violence in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, police have said in a statement.
The riots started after rumours that Rwandans were behind recent ritual killings in the city.
The two were Zambian nationals killed “in the confusion” Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila reportedly said.
More than 250 people have been arrested after more than 60 Rwandan-owned shops were looted in two days of violence.
The two Zambians had been burned with firewood and vehicle tyres, according to police quoted by the AFP news agency.
Six people have been murdered since March and their body parts removed.
Rumours circulated that the body parts would be used as charms to ensure success in business.
Police spokeswoman Charity Munganga urged Zambians not to believe “false rumours”.
“No baby or human body parts were found in any fridge belonging to any foreign national. These statements are coming from people with criminal minds to create alarm among the members of the public and justify their criminality,” she said in a statement.
She warned that it was an offence to spread rumours that caused alarm and the police would not hesitate to arrest those doing so “regardless of the medium they are using”.
“We are appealing to the members of the public not to believe any statement they see on social media which is not confirmed by the police.”
Rwandans are the largest group of immigrants in Zambia, owning shops in the densely populated areas which have been affected by the riots.