33 more bodies in ritual killings probe

Investigators have found 33 more bodies in woodlands near where a secretive cult may have carried out ritual killings, police said Friday in raising the death toll in the case to 83.

In last week's initial searches of homes and two forests in southeastern Anambra state, police found 50 bodies--some without heads--and about 20 skulls. The bodies, several of which were mummified, had been left unburied in caskets lying in what have been dubbed the two "evil forests."

Police paraded five bedraggled men before journalists Friday in Abuja, the national capital, and lined up 20 skulls that officials said were found hidden in domestic shrines linked to the Alusi Okija cult.

Sunday Ehindero, the deputy inspector general of police, said the men were among 31 priests arrested in connection with the killings.