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Autopsy of Briton ‘killed by devil’ in Mombasa fails to establish cause of death

An autopsy conducted on the body of a British woman who died under mysterious circumstances in Kenya has failed to establish the cause of her death.

Luftunisa Kwandwalla, 44, was visiting the coastal city of Mombasa when she died in August 2020 and was buried a day later, but her family has claimed foul play.

At the time, cult leader Arif Mohamed Iqbal, a self-confessed healer, said the “devil” killed Kwandawalla as he tried to exorcise her, according to court papers filed by the family.

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UK tourist Luftunisa Kwandwalla
UK tourist Luftunisa Kwandwalla who died in Kenya

The postmortem carried out on her exhumed body last week did not ascertain the cause of her death but samples taken from the soil in the grave, including remnants of the kidney, urinary bladder and intestines, were taken for toxicology tests, according to a report released to the family by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor.

“The brain is shrunken and found inside the opened skull. It was intact. The cause of death unascertained pending histology, toxicology and DNA,” reads the report.

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The shaft of the femur bone and meniscus cartilage were taken for DNA analysis, while the hyoid bone, thyroid cartilage and brain were taken for histology analysis.

“There were areas of fracture on the hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage. These were retained for histological analysis in order to establish if the fracture was post-mortem or pre-mortem,” the report adds.

Vital organs such as lungs, heart, liver and other vessels were found to have completely decomposed and were not identifiable.

A government-issued death certificate in 2020 listed her initial cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest.

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Kwandwalla arrived in Kenya in August 2019 to visit members of her husband’s family and she joined Iqbal’s controversial cult during her stay in the country, according to court filings.

She was set to fly back to her home in the English city of Leicester but travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic prevented the trip.

The family is demanding a probe into Kwandwalla’s mysterious sudden death, claiming she was hurriedly buried to conceal evidence. They said Arif could not explain how the devil killed her.

“The hurried burial of the deceased without allowing her family members to attend the burial and view the body has brought pain and anguish to the family who deserves to know what killed her,” Kwandwalla’s brother, Imran Admani, said in court papers.

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Last month, a Mombasa magistrate’s court ordered the exhumation of the deceased’s body and allowed the family to hire a private pathologist for the postmortem. So far, no one has been arrested in connection with her death.

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