Benin: Graves Desecrated in Porto-Novo, 'Voodoo' Link

Benin: Graves Desecrated in Porto-Novo, 'Voodoo' Link

More than 100 graves have been desecrated in a cemetery near Benin's capital, Porto-Novo, police say. The grave robbers cut the heads off the bodies and also stole some internal organs.

Benin: Graves Desecrated in Porto-Novo, 'Voodoo' Link

There is a suspicion the crime is linked to extreme Voodoo practices of using body parts in charms.

Benin: Graves Desecrated in Porto-Novo, 'Voodoo' Link

It is the first such incident in the West African nation, where Voodoo is an official religion.

The desecrated graves were discovered by a mason who had forgotten his tools at the 20-acre (eight-hectare) cemetery in Dangbo near Porto-Novo.

The mason alerted the police who found that up to 100 graves had been tampered with overnight.

Relatives have been traumatised by the mutilations as most people believe in reincarnation. They fear their loved ones will be reincarnated with body parts missing.

Crowds who gathered outside the cemetery believe the body parts were taken by people planning to sell them for use as lucky charms.

A high priest said such practices were not recognised by the mainstream Voodoo religion - and condemned the grave desecrations.

Benin: Graves Desecrated in Porto-Novo, 'Voodoo' Link

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