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Kenya rape case body exhumed

Irish Examier

Forensic science experts in Kenya have exhumed the body of a pregnant teenage girl who allegedly died after being raped by British troops in a remote area of the country nine years ago.

The body of Mantoi Kaunda, 16, will be examined by British and Kenyan pathologists as part of a criminal investigation into claims that British soldiers raped more than 650 Kenyan women over three decades in a region close to Mount Kenya.

The accusations, which date back to the early 1970s, have led to a group action against the Ministry of Defence by the alleged victims, from the Masai and Samburu tribes, who are claiming up to 20m in compensation.

The Kenyan government has set up a parallel criminal investigation into the cases, in a joint enquiry with detectives from the Royal Military Police. Kenyan police were granted a court order last month to dig up Miss Kaunda's body.

Her parents claim their daughter, then six months pregnant, and her younger sister were attacked by two soldiers as they walked home after collecting firewood in 1995. She died from her injuries later that day.

The rape allegations have been dogged by controversy over the accuracy of local police records. The RMP has raised doubts about some records of the alleged attacks, claiming the ink in the police ledgers is too fresh and that some alleged rapes happened when there were no British troops in Kenya.

However, more than 2,000 witnesses and alleged victims have been interviewed, and the police are now studying the data gathered.


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