PORT MORESBY: Residents of a Papua New Guinea mining township say they found a man with a history of drug abuse eating his newborn son during a sorcery initiation ceremony. Police said people on the outskirts of the town of Tabubil, in Western Province, woke on Thursday to the screams of the baby boy.
Confronted with the sight of the father allegedly eating his child, an angry mob chased him to the police station, where he was detained after a short struggle.
Police said the discovery was too late to save the baby, who later died of his injuries. Sergeant Demas Tapea said officers had detained a man and his wife. ''It is a very disturbing incident,'' Sergeant Tapea said. ''The community is upset, angry, but there is also a lot of fear and anxiety because there is a belief in sorcery or witchcraft.'' He said the man was known to police.''Locals are saying the man was carrying out a sorcery ritual, or initiation, to become part of some sort of special society,'' he said.'' The suspect has a long history of drug abuse â€¦ A few years ago, he went crazy in what we believe was due to the effects of drugs.''
In 2009 it was estimated that 50 people were killed in sorcery-related murders in isolated communities. Christian missions and the government have tried to end the belief in sorcery, but strong superstitions remain.