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Starvation cult death toll in eastern Kenya rises to 89

The death toll among followers of a Kenyan cult who believed they would go to heaven if they starved themselves has now risen to 89.

The toll has steadily risen in recent days as authorities carried out exhumations in a 300-hectare area of the Shakahola forest in eastern Kenya where the self-proclaimed Good News International Church was based.

Kenya’s Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said another 16 bodies had been found since the last update.

“I am informed by those who are responsible that, until now, over and above the figure that was given yesterday at 73, we have been able to discover until this hour another 16 bodies, bringing the total to 89,” Mr Kindiki told reporters on Tuesday.

He added that three more people had been rescued alive, bringing the total number of survivors found so far to 34.

The death toll could rise further.

The Kenyan Red Cross said more than 200 people had been reported missing to a tracing and counselling desk it has set up at a local hospital.

-Reuters

Topics: Kenya
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