Six tribal chiefs believed by villagers and police to possess a mystical ability to turn themselves into crocodiles have been arrested for killing 33 people. One suspect, a chief of Buma village in Bandundu province, about 330 miles from the capital of Kinshasa, confessed to killing and eating five people, Voice of the People radio station quoted police as saying.
Those under arrest have been identified by their community as belonging to a witch gang whose members villagers believe are able to transform themselves into crocodiles, and who have been blamed for 33 deaths in the area since 1995.
Police made the arrests based on allegations made by a Buma fisherman who claimed he was banished from his village by "crocodile men" because they believed he could identify them. The fisherman told police that he narrowly escaped an attack by the men -- monsters with human legs, faces and hands but other crocodile features below the waist.