These French citizens were on holidays on the island of Nosy Be when they were hunted down and killed by residents after a missing eight-year-old was reportedly found dead. They were suspected of being responsible for the death of the child who was found on a beach with his tongue and genitals cut off.
Hours later in a near-by suburb, a Malagasy was also killed, as mobs of hundreds of men roamed the streets and setting fires. The victime was dragged from a vehicle and his body thrown onto a fire.
One of the victims Sebastien told them he couldn't have done that to the child as he himself has a little daughter but his cries fell on deaf ears. The other victim Roberto, who is a journaliste, is half French, half Italian.
Up to 4000 Madagascans witnessed the lynching of the two men. They were kept alive long enough to be tortured, until they finally confessed to killing the boy, and to trafficking organs, before they were set on fire. Both died from their burns. Gory pictures taken after the lynching showed a mound of ash, wood and iron bars, with a torso and pair of charred legs the only recognisable remains.
La foule marched on to the paramilitary police station Wednesday, convinced one of the boy's killers was being held there. La police tried to convince the mob that the alleged kidnapper was not at the station, but it was not enough to dissuade the crowd. They fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd, but at least one person died and two others were wounded.
The French consulate discouraged its nationals from visiting Nosy Be island and asked they remain indoors until order is restored, especially on the beaches. Security forces have taken control and launched an investigation. Demonstrators involved in the killings claim they found human organs in a fridge in the building where the men were staying.
Many Madagascar residents believe human organs are stolen for use by cults, or in witchcraft ceremonies. Residents said the island had been tense for days before the mob attacks amid rumours of children disappearing. It is common for them to blame outsiders for this practice, and incidents of mob justice are commonplace. However, the triple killing will have a devastating effect on the tourist industry in the economically troubled country.