Senegal’s public prosecutor has opened an investigation into the exhumation and burning of a corpse presumed to be that of a gay man in the holy city of Touba.

The body of the young man, who died on Friday, was sent to Senegal’s second-largest city for burial on the wishes of his family and by Islamic law. 

Unidentified individuals arrived at the cemetery looking for the man’s grave, and when having identified it, removed the body before setting fire to it in front of a large cheering crowd. 

According to local sources, the man was believed to be gay. 

It’s believed the mother of the deceased had buried him “in secret” but locals heard about the accusations of him being a homosexual. 

The public prosecutor condemned the act of “extreme seriousness, amounting to barbarism”.

Abasse Yaya Wane indicated that the open investigation will aim to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. 

This incident aroused strong indignation among the population in Touba and the rest of the Kaolack region in the west of Senegal. 

Senegal has a majority Muslim population and homosexuality is an offense punishable by between one and five years in prison.

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