July 18 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Kenyan authorities have estimated 403 bodies exhumed on land used by a Christian sect in a wooded area of Shakahola, after they have recovered the remains of twelve people in the last few hours.
Homicide detectives have indicated that they do not know the approximate date on which the exhumation work can be completed, since new graves are discovered every day, reports the Kenyan newspaper ‘Standard Media’.
Throughout this week, authorities have been digging shallow graves scattered in the forest for remains and searching the area for survivors as hundreds of people are still missing.
Last week, Kenya’s Home Minister Kithure Kindiki called the massacre in the northern city of Shakahola “the worst security breach in the country’s history,” using the occasion to announce that the government “will push through legal reforms to control dishonest preachers who abuse holy scriptures to harm their followers and indoctrinate them through religious extremism.”
The main leaders of the sect, headed by Paul Mackenzie, urged followers to fast until death under the promise that they will meet Jesus Christ in a new life. Kenyan President William Ruto then described the leader as a “terrible criminal” while his cabinet announced it would turn the forest into a “national memorial” for the victims.