Police in the midwestern Nigerian city of Benin in Edo State have discovered in a building 20 mummified bodies including those of children.

Police spokesperson, Jennifer Iwegbu, said in a statement late Wednesday that three suspects were arrested during the raid, adding that armed police officers raided the building in the Edo State capital acting on intelligence that it was a “suspected ritual shrine.”

“15 mummified male corpses, 3 mummified female corpses and 2 mummified children corpses were discovered at the scene” just 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city center, Iwegbu said.

Many residents arrived at the building, expressing shock over what seemed to have been an operation hidden away from the eyes of even nearby neighbours in a usually very busy neighborhood

It is not immediately clear how long the bodies had been in the building and the suspects are being interrogated, the police said.

All three suspects are young males and a police medical team is part of the investigations, Iwegbu said. 

“An intensive effort is ongoing to arrest the other fleeing suspects,” she added.

Nigeria’s security forces in the past uncovered such shrines used by ritualists and kidnappers but the latest discovery is one of the most shocking in the country in recent years considering the number of victims.


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