Makassar: Doctors in eastern Indonesia have
removed the last of 28 nails found embedded in a
three-year-old girl`s legs and back in a horrific case some
residents and officials blamed on witchcraft.
Doctors in Makassar on Sulawesi island had already
removed more than two dozen 10-centimetre (four-inch) rusty
nails, broken syringe needles and aluminium rods from the
girl`s legs before removing a nail lodged dangerously close to
her spine yesterday.
"The girl is recovering from the operation and is
generally in good condition. She is already playing again,"
the girl`s surgeon Kamaruddin said today.
X-rays in September revealed the foreign objects in the
girl`s legs and back, prompting suspicions among local
residents that they had been inserted magically.
The governor of South Sulawesi province, Syahrul Yasin
Limpo, visited the victim and said he believed witchcraft was
"Believe it or not, in South Sulawesi it is possible for
these sorts of things to happen," Syahrul was quoted as saying
by local news portal Okezone.com.
"We have often heard about people whose heads suddenly go
soft, and medics have no idea what the cause is. It`s called
magic and it`s explained in the Koran."
Doctors said that scars on the girl`s legs showed the
nails had been inserted by a person over a six-month period.
The girl`s parents told media that the scars were from
girl trying to remove the nails and that they had no knowledge
of how the nails got there.
Indonesia is mainly Muslim but belief in black magic is
In 2009, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accused his
political opponents of putting black magic spells on him ahead
of the presidential election.