Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Tanzania machete massacre 'sparked by goat theft'

Tanzania map

Funerals have been held in Tanzania for 17 people hacked to death on Monday night, amid rumours the massacre was sparked by the theft of goats.

The sister of one of the victims told the BBC she believed the killings were revenge after three suspected goat thieves were chased and killed in 2005.

The dead were mainly women and children from the northern Mgaranjabo village.

The BBC's Erick Nampesya says hundreds of grief-stricken mourners attended the burial ceremony.

One of the mourners, 21-year-old Nyasiden Kawawa, said: "I lost my father, mother my five siblings and a child of my aunty."

Ms Kawawa, who is married and lives away from her father's home, added: "They called, but when I reached here, I found them hacked to death."

At the funeral, church elder Gasper Msenya called for tolerance.

"Mothers, you have a responsibility," he said.

"These acts are carried out by men - your husbands and your sons. Educate them because such acts anger God."

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