The death toll in a case involving a Kenyan cult whose leader convinced his followers that starvation was the only way to heaven has passed 201, a government official said.
On Saturday, search teams dug up another 22 bodies from a forest area near the coastal town of Malindi. On Friday, 29 bodies were found. Starvation seems to be the cause of death for most. But some of the victims, who also include children, had been strangled or beaten, says the leading pathologist Johansen Oduor.
The police believe that these are victims of the cult, which was led by Paul Mackenzie Nthenge. In April, mass graves containing 101 bodies were found in the Shakahola forest north of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean. The cult Good News International Church, founded by 50-year-old Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, was located here.
Paul Mackenzie Nthenge turned himself in to the police on April 14 after police received a tip about the forest area. Here, eight people were found alive, but they were badly beaten and later died. Paul Mackenzie Nthenge is now accused of driving his followers to death “to meet Jesus”.
After a hearing in the case on Tuesday last week, the prosecution announced that Mackenzie would be charged in a court dealing with terrorism cases. In addition, 25 people have been arrested in the case. Among them is an ‘enforcer group’ tasked with making sure no one broke their fast or left the forest alive.
On Wednesday, a court ordered Mackenzie detained for another three weeks while investigations into the case, dubbed the Shakahola Forest Massacre, continue.
Source: Politiken.dk – Forsiden by politiken.dk.
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