Zimbabwe: Big blast at sorcerer's house kills 5

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Associated Press

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 11:07 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Police in Zimbabwe say they are investigating a massive explosion at a tribal sorcerer's house outside the capital, Harare.

Police officials said Tuesday the blast killed five people.

The sorcerer, often known in the West as a witchdoctor, and a man seeking to improve his failing finances, were among the dead, witnesses said.

The explosion damaged 12 nearby houses in the Chitungwiza township.

Witnesses said crowds began sprinkling salt on nearby streets and sidewalks afterward, a traditional belief to ward off evil spirits.

Army bomb disposal experts told neighbors they found no remnants of a bomb or gasoline or gas containers.

In Zimbabwe superstition, sorcerers can use lightning, common during current rain storms, to eradicate enemies. Neighbors told reporters they feared a "lightning manufacturing process" was being carried out Monday.

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