Kenya: exhumations continue in Shakahola forest


7 new bodies have been found as exhumations continued in the Kenyan forest of Shakahola on Monday

As exhumations continued on Monday in a Kenyan forest where hundreds of victims of a doomsday cult were found buried last year, seven more bodies were discovered.

The total number of people unearthed from the mass graves now stands at 436.

The government paused the exhumations last year, to allow for DNA matching of the bodies. So far, only 34 of the victims have been identified.

The first bodies were discovered in April 2023 in the Shakahola forest near the Kenyan coast, leading to the arrest of pastor Paul Mackenzie who is alleged to have led his followers to starve themselves to death in order "to meet Jesus".

Mackenzie has pleaded not guilty to 191 counts of murder, manslaughter and terrorism. He has also been charged with child torture and cruelty.

The case shocked Kenya, a largely Christian nation, and brought attention to the lack of regulation of churches and cults.

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