Nicaraguan woman dies after being 'thrown' into fire during 'exorcism'

The small town of Rosita is around 20 miles south-east of Bonanza. Credit: ITV News

A woman has died after she was thrown into a fire to drive "demons" from her body, Nicaraguan authorities have said.

Witnesses reported the 25-year-old was stripped naked, burned and thrown into a gully.

Officials added that the woman, Vilma Trujillo Garcia, suffered burns to 80% of her body and died in hospital in the country's capital, Managua, on Tuesday after being in coma.

Prosecutors said evangelical pastor Juan Gregorio Rocha Romero and four other people had been arrested.

The event was reported to have taken place in a community known as El Cortezal, located near the impoverished municipality of Rosita, around 20 miles from the town on Bonanza.

Rocha Romero denied wrongdoing, telling local media that Ms Garcia fell into the fire without anyone pushing her and a demon exited her body.

The victim's husband, Reynaldo Peralta Rodriguez, said the mother-of-two was taken inside a church last week when members thought she was possessed after she allegedly tried to attack people with a machete.

"It's unforgiveable what they did to us. They killed my wife, the mother of my two little ones," he said. "Now what am I going to tell them?"

The Assemblies of God, the church to which Rocha Romero reportedly belonged, issued a statement denying that he was one of its leaders.

Nicaragua's Vice-President - and wife of the country's president - Rosario Murillo said Ms Garcia's death "regrettable".