Bald people have become the latest targets of witchdoctors in Mozambique, police chiefs say.
Police say the body parts and heads of bald men are being traded across the borders to Malawi and Tanzania where they are of value in witchcraft.
The police warning came after the brutal killing of two bald men, one of whom had his head cut off, and both had their internal organs cut out and stolen.
National police spokesman Inacia Dina told a news conference in the capital Maputo: ‘The murders of two bald people has led to two arrests of suspects.
‘Their motivations come from superstition and culture as the local community thinks bald men are rich and that their parts can be used to enrich others.’
The killings took place in Milange in the centre of southern Mozambique and the two victims were aged over 40 with one decapitated and both mutilated.
A security services spokesman Miguel Caetano said that according to the statements of those arrested, the organs were to be used for witchcraft.
He said the two arrested men, both aged about 20, said the organs were to be used by healers in rituals to promote the fortunes of the witchdoctors’ clients.
They told officers the body parts were sent across to Tanzania and Malawi.
The spokesman said that the attacks on bald men for their organs is a new outbreak in the trade in organ parts in which albinos are usually targeted.
Albinos, who have white skin and yellow hair as a result of a genetic disorder, are regularly killed in several African countries for their body parts for use in witchcraft.
According to the UN more than a hundred attacks against albinos, who have white skin due to hereditary condition that causes an absence of pigmentation, have been registered in Mozambique in the last three years.