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The death toll in Kenya from a suspected starvation cult rose to 227 on Wednesday as police said they unearthed 15 more bodies from land associated with cult leader Paul Mackenzie.

Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha confirmed the grim update during a press briefing, further amplifying the magnitude of the heart-wrenching incident.

"The number of missing people has risen to 611," Onyancha added, referring to an earlier call by the police urging residents in the area to come forward and file reports on their missing loved ones

Police say that as the investigation progresses, the focus remains on unraveling the complex dynamics surrounding the cult, shedding light on the factors that allowed such a tragedy to unfold.

Hundreds of bodies have been found at Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County since mid-April during investigations into a cult run by Mackenzie, a pastor who leads the Good News International Church in Kenya.

He is accused of ordering his followers to starve themselves to death so they could go to heaven before the end of the world.

An investigation that started last month has revealed that some of the victims had their organs missing, which has led to suspicions of trafficking in human organs. - Andrew Wasike, Anadolu Agency

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