Kenyan suspect in religious cult deaths dies in custody after hunger strike

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MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) – A Kenyan accused of involvement in the deaths of hundreds of members of a starvation cult has died after a 10-day hunger strike in police custody, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Joseph Buyuka was among 30 people, including self-styled pastor Paul Mackenzie of Good News International Church, in custody over the deaths of 337 followers of the church.

“The police believe that these individuals… played significant roles in the offences leading to the deaths and illegal disposal of bodies in Shakahola (forest),” court papers said of Buyuka and four others arrested with him.

Authorities have exhumed most of the bodies from the forest in southeast Kenya since April.

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