The death toll from the Shakahola cult massacre had risen to 241.
While giving an update on the exhumation progress in Shakahola forest, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki Thursday said the numbers went up following the discovery of five skeletons. This is after the suspension of the exhumation exercise on Thursday, May 18.
“The team stumbled on the skeletons on two different days and they are part of the human remains that will be the subject of the postmortem process. Sadly also yesterday evening we lost one of the persons who had been rescued because he continued to resist eating even after trying our best to feed him in hospital” he said.
The CS is in Malindi, Kilifi county to oversee the commencement of the second phase of postmortem examinations of 129 additional bodies exhumed from the Shakahola mass graves.
At the same time, government has extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew at the Chakama ranch by a further 30 days.
He however regretted that there was evidence of more graves in the vast forest.
The cult leader Paul Makenzi of Good News International Church who remains in police custody is said to have lured his followers to death through starvation and dehydration in the name of religion.
The CS said so far 91 followers have been rescued (1 succumbed) while DNA tests have been conducted on 93 relatives and another 19 have been reunited with their families.
Detectives who are leading the exercise have arrested 34 people.
The number of people reported missing stood at 613. The exhumation of bodies was suspended to allow an autopsy on 129 recovered so far in the second phase.