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On August 3, a group of men, apparently under the influence of alcohol, attacked the home of a S0lomon Islands family, and systematically destroyed much of the furniture. They later returned and burned the house to the ground. According to eyewitnesses, the owner of the house, Daniel Douglas, was away at the time although his wife and children watched helplessly as their home was destroyed.
The attack occurred due to rumours that Douglas was a sorcerer who had hexed a local girl two weeks previously. The rumours were apparently linked to the girl's collapse in school. After she was brought to a priest for prayers, she reportedly told the priest that Douglas had bought her some fish and chips before her collapse. This led to the belief that he had cast a spell on the girl. While the priest and other witnesses later denied this version of events, the allegations of sorcery continued despite Douglas' public denial. “I’m an innocent man and have no idea of what is happening and the thoughts of the people about me,” he told local journalists.
As for the attack on the Douglas house, the mob members are believed to be from different provinces and likely took advantage of his absence to destroy the property. Though eyewitnesses report3e calling the police for help during the attack, their calls went unanswered.
In commenting on the attack, the priest who had prayed over the female student expressed his shock and insisted again that the stories about th girl's collapse were exaggerated.
A police investigation is now underway and the Douglas family is staying with relatives.
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