Twenty mummified bodies, including those of children, were discovered in a house in the southern Nigerian city of Benin, local police said.
Three suspects were arrested during the search. Armed police raided a building in the city of Benin, capital of Edo state, following an investigation of a “suspicious ritual shrine,” Jennifer Iwegbu, a spokeswoman for Nigeria’s police said in a statement on Wednesday.
“15 mummified male corpses, 3 mummified female bodies and 2 mummified children were found at the site,” which is just 5 kilometers from the city center, according to the statement.
Nigerian security forces had previously discovered such shrines used by ritualists and kidnappers, but the latest discovery is one of the most shocking in Nigeria in recent years, considering the number of victims.
Until the last update of this report, there was no information on how long the bodies had been in the building.
A civil organization in Edo told local media that the site is not used for rituals, but rather a mortuary that is under construction, further claiming that the mummified bodies had identification tags.
However, police responded that there was no morgue signage and that they found evidence typical of a sanctuary, without specifying what it would be, and animal blood at the scene.
The three suspects are young males and a police medical team is part of the investigation, Iwegbu said. “An intensive effort is underway to apprehend the other fleeing suspects,” she added.
Videos on social media show a house where 20 mummified bodies were found in Nigeria – Photo: Reproduction/Twitter