Police in the Papua New Guinea city Lae have rescued a woman accused of sorcery from what they describe as a sacrificial fire.
The National reports the woman's husband was also rescued by police after being badly beaten.
The woman, named as Elizabeth Nicholas from Eastern Highlands, was accused of killing a Southern Highlands woman last week through sorcery.
The police said relatives of the deceased identified Ms Nicholas as being responsible for the death before kidnapping her and torturing her with a hot iron and knives.
They said she was carried to the Bumbu River and set on two tyres ready to be sacrificed by fire.
The police were alerted and intervened, dispersing the crowd and taking the victims to hospital.
The couple's condition has since been described as stable by a hospital doctor who said they would soon be discharged.
Lae's acting police chief Timothy Pomoso said people in PNG's second biggest city should be civilised and not attack sorcery suspects.
He said the incident could provoke an ethnic clash if Ms Nicholas' relatives retaliated.