Bat-like demon blamed for attacks


Feb 23, 2007

Men in parts of Tanzania's main city, Dar es Salaam, are living in fear of a sex attacks from a bat-like demon.

The attacks are being blamed by some on a demon called Popo Bawa, meaning winged bat, reports the BBC.

Some men are staying awake or sleeping in groups outside their homes. Others are smearing themselves with pig's oil to repel Popo Bawa.

Reports of the demon's existence have been common for many years in Zanzibar, where locals claim it originated.

Mbaruku Ibrahim, from Zanzibar, says the story of the demon is common there and people in his village on Pemba island sleep beside a huge fire outside their houses whenever it is said to appear.

The story goes that the bat is able to transform itself into a man at night and it has also been blamed for rapes of women.

Belief in witchcraft and superstitions is widespread in Tanzania, especially in rural areas.