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Siberian Man Kills Wife After Mistaking Her for a Witch

A man in western Siberia killed his wife because he judged her to be a witch.

A man in western Siberia has been taken into police custody after slashing his wife's throat because he judged her to be a witch, investigators said Thursday.

The heavily drunk 34-year-old suspect was detained in his Omsk apartment, where the woman's body and their bawling four-year-old daughter were also found by police, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said on its website.

The man said he had slain the 30-year-old "witch" because she was flying around the place, a committee spokeswoman told local news website Sib.fm.

He had apparently drunk himself into delirium during the recent four-day holiday marking the National Unity Day, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported.

The suspect, whose name has been withheld, is in detention and pending a mental check, which could spare him murder charges, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Their daughter, who witnessed the stabbing, was hospitalized for psychological treatment, Rossiiskaya Gazeta said.

The attack is the second stabbing to take place in Omsk around the National Unity Day holidays: In 2013, another local man stabbed his girlfriend to death because she was distracting him from watching television.

About 45 percent of Russians believe in supernatural forces, according to a 2013 nationwide poll by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation, which had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

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