Two human trafficking suspects killed by mob in Madagascar

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 October, 2013, 5:14am

A crowd burned two Europeans and a local man alive on a tourist island in Madagascar because they suspected them of trafficking human organs after a dead child was found on a beach.

The men were hunted down and killed by residents on the island of Nosy Be, one of the Indian Ocean island's leading tourism hubs.

"They [the crowd] suspected them of organ trafficking," Madagascar police chief Desire Johnson Rakotondratsima said. "It appears that one of the foreigners admitted it in front of the local residents after they found the dead body of a child."

Local police commissioner Honoya Tilahizandry said the European pair "were killed and burnt on Ambatoloaka beach".

While local officials said both men were French, witnesses said one may have been Italian.

Hours after the Europeans were killed, a crowd on the island dragged the local man from a vehicle and threw him on a fire.

A French interior ministry official said the body of the child had been found with organs removed.

Residents marched on the paramilitary police station on Wednesday, convinced the boy's killer was being held there.

Security forces fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd, but at least one person died and two others were wounded. The mob also torched eight houses.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse