(CNN) The Kenyan government said police have so far recovered 89 bodies from mass graves in a forest in eastern Kenya believed to be linked to a sect said to have encouraged its followers to starve themselves for salvation.
Kenyan Home Minister Keithor Kindiki said three people were found alive and rescued on Tuesday.
In all, 34 people have been rescued since the graves were discovered last Friday in the 800-acre forest.
They are said to be members of the Good News International Church, which allegedly taught its members that they would go to heaven if they starved themselves.
Paul Mackenzie Nhage, the sect’s leader, has been arrested after police received a tip-off that his vast land in the Chakhula Forest in eastern Kenya’s Kilifi county contained mass graves.
Nthigi was seen shouting “Praise be to Jesus” as he was escorted by police after his arrest. His lawyer told CNN on Tuesday that he was denied bail due to fears of interference with the investigation.
“The court is of the opinion that he may interfere in the investigations,” Nthiji’s lawyer, George Kariuki, told CNN.
Prosecutors have been given 14 days to investigate the case, Kariuki said, adding that no charges have been filed against Nthigi. He added that he did not obtain permission from his client to comment on allegations that he encouraged his followers to starve themselves to death in order to go to heaven.
“I cannot divulge what my client tells me without his express permission. I cannot know if there were people who died while fasting… It is only an autopsy report that can advise me of this situation, which no one has been provided.”
There are fears that the Kenya Red Cross numbers will rise He said More than 200 people have been reported missing to its employees in the port city of Malindi.
Hassan Musa, Regional Director of the Kenya Red Cross told CNN on Tuesday: “The number of family members who came to report missing persons has increased from 210 in the morning to 259 now (as of Tuesday afternoon). Of this 259, 130 are out of the country,” Musa said. They are children,” he said, adding that the local morgue in Malindi was over capacity.
He added that the survivors pulled from the site were “extremely weak and traumatized”.
Tightening of regulations
The police were wearing overalls Scouring the site Since Friday they have found an increasing number of dead bodies every day.
“The alleged use of the Bible to kill people and cause widespread massacre of innocent civilians cannot be tolerated,” Kennedy said, adding that he wanted to “reassure the people of Kenya and the world that we will do everything in our power to get to the bottom of this matter and establish the truth.”
“The government has nothing to hide,” Kennedy added.
The case has sent shockwaves across Kenya and the government has vowed to tighten regulations on religious bodies and organisations.
President William Ruto described Nthege a “terrible criminal” whose actions were “terrorist-like”.
Kenya is a deeply religious country and has had problems with unorganized churches and denominations in the past.
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