An elderly woman was killed and four of her family members injured at Kwa Maasai village in Kwale County by a gang armed with crude weapons on claims that they were practising witchcraft.

Residents alleged the woman had been practising black magic and had been casting spells on people she did not like.

Lunga Lunga Sub County Criminal Investigations Officer Joseph Biwot said the gang broke into the home of the deceased identified as Nyamvula Nyawa in the wee hours of Tuesday morning on claims that they were witches and casting spells on residents.

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He said the deceased’s husband and their three sons sustained injuries during the surprise attack.

The detective said the body was moved to Kwale county mortuary and the rest of the injured family members were taken to Msambweni hospital where they are being treated.

He said police have launched investigations into the incident and cautioned residents against killing suspected witches in their midst deploring the habit as outdated, primitive and illegal.

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Biwot said beatings and killings of elderly people on suspicion of practicing witchcraft was outright contravention of the law and those perpetuating the habit which has become commonplace in the area would face the wrath of the law.