October 5, 2013
Two Europeans accused of murdering a young boy in the most popular tourist resort in Madagascar have been burnt to death by a mob of vigilantes, it emerged today.
A third European man who was quizzed over the alleged killing of the eight-year-old boy was lynched hours later and his body set ablaze in a separate attack.
The horrific killings took place on Nosy Be, an idyllic Indian Ocean island located off the northwest coast of Madagascar, which attracts holidaymakers from all over the world including Britain.
Locals went on the rampage on Wednesday following reports that a Frenchman called Sebastian and an Italian called Roberto had kidnapped an eight-year-old child.
There were claims that the men, whose surnames have not been revealed, had not only killed the boy, but cut off his tongue and genitals.
Police commander Guy Bobin Randriamaro said: ‘The rioters launched a manhunt and killed the Europeans.
‘Both men were not only suspected of murdering the boys, but were also said to be trafficking human organs.’
The rampaging mob originally stormed a police station in Hell-Ville, capital of Nosy Be, where it thought the pair of murder suspects were being held.
Police fired shots in the air, but it was not enough to disperse the increasingly angry crowd.
Mr Randriamaro said the men were finally chased and cornered on the palm-fringed Ambatoloaka beach on Nosy Be, where they were attacked.
They were kept alive long enough to be tortured, and are said to have ‘confessed’ to killing the boy, and to trafficking organs, before both were set on fire. Both died from their burns.
Up to 4000 Madagascans witnessed the lynching of the two men, said a Frenchman living on Nosy Be.
He claimed that both were made ‘scapegoats’ for a murder they had nothing to do with.
The mob went on to torch around eight houses, and to start attacking police, who are thought to have wounded at least two members of the crowd.
A third man was later lynched and his body set ablaze, police in Madagascar reported later.
Witnesses saw him being dragged from a car and thrown on to the flames at Ambatoloaka beach.