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Panic as Delhi hunts "ape-like" attacker

NEW DELHI, India -- Fear has gripped the Indian capital after dozens of residents reported attacks by an ape-like creature able to leap from roof to roof. Asia
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Police had received about 65 reports of a mysterious attacker with a monkey's face and human body scratching and biting victims in and around Delhi since Saturday, a senior police official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police said they had no clues about the identity of the alleged attacker.

"Last night (Monday) alone we received 24 calls reporting such attacks," Manoj Lal, Deputy Commissioner of Police of Delhi's eastern district, told Reuters.

"Of these, 19 were found to have no basis. The five others had some wounds and we are trying to confirm with doctors how they may have been caused," he said.

Television network Star News said people in neighbouring Ghaziabad town -- which reported the first attack two weeks ago -- spent the night on the streets armed with sticks waiting for the attacker.

Lal said the entire eastern district police force of about 3,000 personnel had been on patrol since Monday to hunt down the creature.

The Times of India said an industrial worker died on Sunday night in nearby Noida town when he jumped off a first-floor building after being awoken by cries the "monkey man" was attacking.

There are a number of monkeys running wild in New Delhi and on the outskirts of the city which sometimes pounce on unsuspecting pedestrians or enter houses.

Reuters contributed to this report.

The Times of India

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