Authorities in Cameroon have arrested five people suspected of trafficking in body parts after they were discovered at a checkpoint carrying a severed human head, state radio and wildlife conservationists said yesterday.

Body parts of humans and rare animals are prized by some in central Africa for their supposed supernatural powers and used in occult ceremonies. Traffickers often get human remains from grave-robbers, but a recent spate of killings has also been linked to the gruesome trade.

Cameroon’s state-owned broadcaster, CRTV, said the suspects had been transporting the body parts in a bag along with elephant meat from Djoum, a town about 280km south of the capital Yaounde, when they were stopped at a checkpoint. – (Reuters)