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More bodies found in Mt Elgon graves

Sunday August 24 2008

A skull and clothes exhumed from a latrine in

A skull and clothes exhumed from a latrine in Mt Elgon last week. Ten more bodies were found at the weekend, heightening anxiety among families with missing relatives. Photo/FILE 

By BERNARD KWALIA

Ten more bodies of people believed to be victims of militiamen in Mount Elgon have been exhumed.

Relatives and security officers exhumed the bodies from graves in Chebyuk at the weekend.

This brings to 21 the number of bodies found in the area in the past two weeks. Last week, six bodies were exhumed while five more had earlier been discovered. The six have since been identified.

On Saturday, security agents and wananchi retrieved 10 bodies from pit latrines at Toywondet village of Kopsiro Division.

Reign of terror

The bodies are said to have been buried by Sabaot Land Defence Force militia during their two-year reign of terror in the district. The bodies were later taken to the Webuye district mortuary for DNA tests after the public viewed them to help in identification.

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The discovery has sparked anxiety among families with missing relatives.

Meanwhile, relatives of the six who were exhumed at Soet village in Kopsiro last week are making funeral arrangements.

Mr Jackson Kikai, whose son, Kennedy Kipruto, was among the victims, said he had finalised arrangements to bury his son today. Kipruto was a student at Bungoma High School.

Kipruto’s body was retrieved from a pit latrine alongside that of a woman.

Three women from Cheptis whose husbands went missing in March, plan to bury three skeletons found in the Mt Elgon forest.

The women who were accompanied by a pathologist based at Moi University, Dr Wilbert Nalianya found the skeletons covered with clothes that they believed belonged to their husbands.

District commissioner Mohammed Biriki cautioned politicians against politicising security matters.

He said the military operation would continue until peace was restored in the district. He said more officers had been sent to police stations in the area and more would be sent to new ones which are under construction.