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Authorities in Kenya announce the discovery of 12 new bodies

An officer of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) walks at the mass-grave site in Shakahola, outside the coastal town of Malindi, on April 25, 2023   -  
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Authorities in Kenya announced on Monday the discovery of 12 new bodies in the Shakahola forest where an evangelical sect practising extreme fasting was meeting.

The new discovery brings the death toll to 403.

Almost three months after the first victims of what has been dubbed the "Shakahola forest massacre" were discovered, police believe that most of the exhumed bodies are those of followers of the Good News International Church, founded by self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, who advocated fasting to death in order to "meet Jesus".

The former taxi driver has been in custody since 14 April and will face charges including "terrorism".

Sixteen other people are accused of being part of a group of "henchmen" responsible for ensuring that no follower broke the fast or escaped from the forest near the coastal town of Malindi.

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