Shakahola cult: Number of exhumed bodies hits 235, postmortems to resume

Some of the bodies exhumed from mass graves in Shakahola, Kilifi County, on May 18, 2023, in the investigation into cult leader Paul Mackenzie and his Good News International Church.

The number of bodies exhumed from mass graves in Shakahola, Kilifi County, on Thursday rose by eight to 235, as the prbe into cult leader Paul Mackenzie and the activities of his Good News International Church continued.

Forensics teams have, for weeks now, dug up many graves in a search for the remains of Mackenzie's followers, whom he apparently convinced to starve themselves to death in order to meet Jesus.

It was also announced on Thursday that the forensic teams will take a break from Friday, to allow postmortems on the 123 bodies exhumed in the second phase of the exercise.

The exams will start next Wednesday at the Malindi Sub-County hospital. 

In the meantime, the search and rescue of victims continues. Police noted that the area is still a crime scene and that the 24-hour curfew remains as the investigation continues.

The police further reported Thursday that four people had been rescued - three female and one male adult. Two of the women and the man were stable while the third woman was in a critical state, they said.

The number of rescues stood at 89 and the arrests at 31, wwhile the number of people reported missing was 613.


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