Rural woman steamed to death by witch doctors

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A wooden barrel used by two local wizards to steam a woman to death is seized by police. [Photo/]

A woman in Guangyuan of southwest China's Sichuan Province was put into a big wooden barrel and steamed to death on Saturday evening by two local wizards, who said it would drive away the devil in her and cure her illness.

The woman, surnamed Li, was a villager in Yulong village, Rongshan town in Lizhou district, Guangyuan. She had been ill for years and different attempts at a cure had been unsuccessful, according to fellow villager Liu Jun.

At around 9 p.m. Saturday, villagers rushed to Li's place after hearing her hysterical cries. The villagers then brought in two local "wizards" named Fan and Hu, who said the cries were were not being made by Li, but by the devil in her body, and that steaming would exorcise the devil.

When Li was finally released by the villagers, her face had turned black and she was unable to stand. She died soon after medical workers arrived and all rescue efforts failed.

Local police took Fan and Hu into custody and investigations are underway.

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