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Last Updated: Friday, 19 March, 2004, 18:11 GMT
Alarm at Liberian ritual killings
Liberian women protesters
Women say the authorities are failing to take action
Hundreds of Liberian women have taken to the streets of the capital, Monrovia, protesting against a recent wave of ritual killings there.

Bodies of children have been found with some of their organs missing, taken for what are viewed as magical properties.

The women, dressed in white, stormed the Justice Ministry demanding action against the killers.

Politicians and the wealthy are believed to pay for the murders to increase their chances of good fortune.

The police argue they have too few resources to deal effectively with crime.

Limited resources

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Monrovia says the local media has recently been dominated by reports of people chasing children at night and the discovery of bodies with some organs missing.

"Our children are the future of this country, and we want them to be safe because we want our future to be bright," said Henrietta Sumo, the women's spokesperson.

Acting Justice Minister Edward Goba blamed logistical limitations for the inability of the police to fight such crime.

"Anybody's relatives could be killed as a result of these criminal activities. But the police have only two pick-ups; given the size of Monrovia and the population of the city, two pickups are like dropping two grains of rice into the ocean," said Mr Goba.

He expressed support for the women demonstrators.

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