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Five arrested after woman dies in 'exorcism ritual'

Five South Koreans have been arrested on suspicion of murder after the death of a woman in an apparent exorcism ritual in the German city of Frankfurt.

Police discovered the 41-year-old woman in a hotel room on Saturday after being alerted by a Catholic priest, according to prosecutor Nadja Niesen.

She said the suspects - a 44-year-old woman, her 21-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, and two 15-year-old boys - were relatives of the woman, one of them being her son.

Ms Niesen said the suspects, who arrived in Germany six weeks ago, wanted to expel a "demon" they believed had possessed the woman.

She said they exerted "massive force on her chest and stomach area" while stuffing a towel and clothes hanger into her mouth to stop her screaming.

Ms Niesen said: "They all belonged to one big family. They came to Germany from South Korea six weeks ago and had rented a house in Sulzbach, but didn't stay there much."

She added: "According to our current information the suspects subjected the victim to pain and agony for at least two hours, and their actions were motivated by a callous and merciless attitude.

"The woman eventually died from asphyxiation as a result of the massive chest compression and violence to her neck."

A second woman, also aged 41, was found in the garage of the house the family had rented, said Ms Niesen. She was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and dehydration.

"It's not clear exactly what happened to her, we are still investigating that."

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