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Gabon: Thousands march against ritual killings

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May 11, 2013 02:26 PM EST | AP

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LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Thousands of Gabonese people marched to protest ritual killings, in which people are murdered so their body parts can be used in amulets to bring good luck. Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, Gabon's first lady, led the event Saturday along with Christian and Muslim religious leaders.

The president of the Association for the Fight against Ritual Crimes, Elvis Ebang Ondo, estimates that Gabon has 20 mutilation killings a year. He said there are more such killings in election years, as some people seek amulets to win government positions.

The marchers presented a declaration to President Ali Bongo Ondimba, urging him to fight the crime.  

Police dispersed a separate march by a group opposed to the participation of the first lady.