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Indonesian cannibal 'confession'

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JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A 31-year old Indonesian man, arrested last week on cannibal-related charges, has admitted to police to eating at least three people, Indonesian media reports say.

The suspect, named as Sumanto, told police he ate the bodies for supernatural purposes, and had aimed to eat at least seven humans in a quest for special powers and to ensure a "peaceful soul", the Jakarta Post reported on Monday.

Sumanto was apprehended last week for allegedly digging up and eating the body of an 80-year-old woman.

He told police in Purbalingga in Central Java province, 310 kilometers southeast of Jakarta, he had previously killed and eaten two men who had attempted to rob him.

As well as consuming their flesh, the cannibal suspect said he cut off the penis of one of the men, dried it and used it as an amulet.

Police fear at least three other people who went missing in Purbalingga may have fallen victim to Sumanto's taste for human flesh, the Jakarta Post reported.

Despite Islam and Hinduism being the dominant religions across the Indonesian archipelago, elements of mysticism and animism are still prevalent in parts of Javanese society.

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