Witch hunt Papua New Guinea
A woman shows her scars as a result of an attack after being accused of being a witch Youtube screenshot

A gang of ten men hacked to death a woman they claimed was a witch after accusing her of causing a measles epidemic which killed several people in in Papa New Guinea.

The woman, known only as Misila, was murdered in front of her family in a remote village in the island's Enga province.

Belief in the supernatural powers of witches and sorcerers is entrenched in parts of the diverse and largely tribal country.

The woman was one of four accused of sorcery in January who had originally escaped death when she was saved by police and missionaries.

Laws in Papua New Guinea state black magic killing is now treated as murder and punishable by death.

Missionary Anton Lutz, who helped rescue the woman earlier this year said the community was cut off from transport and communication and as a result unable to defend itself against murderous gangs.

"What we're hearing is that on Monday about 10 men came and axed her while she was with her family," he added.

"Her family was helpless to do anything and she died. So far we've heard that her family is not seeking to retaliate against this group that came and killed her. They are hoping that the police will be able to apprehend them and seek justice another way."