We reported last week that the US Embassy in Lilongwe put temporary travel restrictions on embassy staff travel to Mulanje, in southern Malawi, due to ongoing rumours about ‘bloodsuckers’. Soon afterwards, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office added to this, warning travellers to exercise ‘extreme caution’ and avoid large crowds.

Similar incidents happened last year, which lead to the UN and US Peace Corps withdrawing staff in October. In February, a team of BBC journalists were attacked while making a documentary on the issue. You can read more of our coverage of ‘vampire’ attacks here.

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

In the period since 24 July there have been reports of possible incidents of unrest and violence in rural areas of Mulanje, linked to rumours of bloodsuckers. This is further to similar incidents of violence and unrest reported during the period September to December 2017 in the areas of Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and also in rural parts of Blantyre, Zomba and Nsanje districts. We continue to advise extreme caution if you’re travelling in these areas, especially after dark, avoid any demonstrations or large groups of people and follow local security advice.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malawi

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