Five-year-old girl abducted, beheaded in Mali

Angry villagers have set fire to police headquarters after a five-year-old girl with albinism was abducted and killed by armed men in Mali.

Djeneba Diarra, who lived in a village in Fana, 125km (78 miles) north of the capital Bamako, was taken from the courtyard where she was sleeping with her mother and sister in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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The little girl’s headless body was later found beside the mosque.

“We demand justice. Her head was taken. This is a ritual crime,” activist Mamadou Sissoko told news agency AFP after going to the scene.

Witnesses said angry villagers then partially burned down the paramilitary police headquarters. Shops remained closed for most of Monday as protests continued.

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There are concerns the killing may be linked to Mali’s presidential election, which is taking place at the end of July.

There is a belief among some groups in parts of Africa that potions made from the body parts of people with albinism can bring good luck and wealth.

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Mr Sissoko said: “Every time there are elections, we become prey for people who want to make ritual sacrifices. This is not the first time this has happened in Fana.

“The state needs to take up its responsibilities.”