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Cult investigation: Kenya sets curfew on ranch owned by detained 'pastor'

Digged holes are seen after exhuming bodies at the mass-grave site in Shakahola, outside the coastal town of Malindi, on April 25, 2023.   -  
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*Movement will be restricted in the 320-hectare ranch owned by a Kenyan pastor who is accused of directing his followers to fast to death.

The country's interior minister announced Wednesday (Apr.26) that for 30 days, the area will be subjected to a curfew between 6PM to 6 AM.

Human rights activists and journalists have however questioned the move to bar them from accessing the ranch.

It has been declared "disturbed area and an operation zone."

The latest death toll in the cult investigation stands at 95.

Police said Wednesday they took 22 people into custody during the search and rescue operation on the land.

The director of public prosecutions, Noordin Haji, on Wednesday (Apr. 26) directed investigating officers to identify the assets of the suspects for purposes of preservation, confiscation and forfeiture in accordance with the law.

Authorities have rescued 34 people from the property, which is near the town of Malindi, since police raided the ranch earlier this month.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said that 314 is the latest missing persons figure.

Yhe owner of the ranch, so-called pastor Paul Mackenzie. is to remain in police custody until at least May 2.

On Thursday (Apr.27), the Cabinet Secretary for Interior & National Administration announced famous self-proclaimed televangelist Ezekiel Ombok Odero of the New Life Prayer Centre had been arrested and will face charges for allegedly killing his following.

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