Riots have broken out in the town of Gile in Mozambique amid fears that blood-sucking vampires were active in the area with the help of government officials.
According to local media, fears of vampires have been circulating in recent months following an incident in which a mob attacked a local business owner in the locality of Muiane, who they believed was a vampire.
After looting the man’s shop, they went on to vandalize the homes of local politicians, including the head of the Muiane administrative post and of the local secretary of the ruling Frelimo Party.
Since that incident, rioting in the town of Gile has become so violent that Gile’s district administrator has had to flee to the neighboring district of Alto Molocue.
A spokesperson for local law enforcement, Miguel Caetano, confirmed in a press briefing on Monday that five people were arrested for spreading fears about vampires and inciting public disorder. Caetano added that the rumor was more likely an opportunity for criminals to frighten people and thus steal their property.
However, this plea was consequently ignored as further rioting broke out on Wednesday, as a mob destroyed district government offices and attacked officials they believe are conniving with the vampires.
On Thursday, Caetano claimed that the town was in a state of “utter chaos” with numerous other local officials being forced to flee the area as police try to restore order.
A similar incident took place in rural Marawi last week after another vampire scare led to a riot in which five people were killed, with the United Nations deciding to pull staff from two of the affected districts.
“These districts have severely been affected by the ongoing stories of bloodsucking and the possible existence of vampires,” the U.N. Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) said in a security report. “UNDSS is continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure all affected U.N. staff are back in the field as soon as possible.”