In Brief

Ethiopian pastor killed by crocodile during lake baptism

Reptile fatally mauled preacher as he dunked believers in Lake Abaya

A pastor has died after a crocodile mauled him as he baptised believers in a lake in Ethiopia.

Protestant minister Docho Eshetu was conducting a mass baptism on the shore of Lake Abaya, near the town of Arba Minch, in the south-western part of the country, when the reptile attacked him.

Local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC’s Amharic-language service that the Sunday afternoon ceremony had just begun when the incident occurred.

“He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one,” he said. “All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor.”

Despite the best efforts of parishioners and bystanders, the pastor was bitten on his legs, back and arms and could not be saved.

Nearby fishermen used their nets to retrieve the body before the crocodile could drag it further into the lake.

Lake Abaya, one of Ethiopia’s largest lakes, “is known to have a huge crocodile population”, according to Ethiopian news site Borkena.

Despite a lack of state media coverage, news of the gruesome accident spread rapidly after eyewitnesses shared their accounts on social media, the site says.

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