Police on Tuesday fired on a mob outside the home of a Chinese businessman rumored to have abducted and eaten a number of boys in the southern tea-growing town of Bvumbwe.
Two people were rushed to a hospital after they were shot in the melee, said police spokesman Willy Mwaluka.
The bizarre incident happened after the disappearance of at least six boys in the area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of the commercial capital, Blantyre. Local leaders filed a complaint with police Tuesday after an employee of the &to=http://english.pravda.ru/accidents/2002/10/08/37875.html' target=_blank>businessman alleged one of the boys had been brought to the man's residence.
Police searched the residence, but found no evidence to support the claim, Mwaluka said.
Residents then decided to take matters into their own hands and besieged the house. Some refused to disperse after the shooting, and police were maintaining a 24-hour watch to ward against further violence.
The five officers involved in the shooting were arrested pending an investigation.
"We want to find out whether the situation warranted the opening of fire," Mwaluka said.
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