Mercy Juma BBC News

A rights group in Kenya has urged the government to help identify 16 bodies retrieved from the Tana River in the north-eastern region in last three months.

“Some families may not have resources to travel there for the physical identification exercise,” Hussein Khalid, the executive director of Haki Africa, told the BBC.

He was reacting to a call by the police to those looking for missing relatives to visit the main morgue in Garissa county.

The retrieved bodies are severely decomposed, some had ropes tied on the hands and feet, others had stones wrapped around them, local media report.

None of the bodies had any form of identification documents on them.

Police say the victims were murdered and their bodies thrown in the river, local Citizen TV station reports.

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Some desperate families looking for missing relatives visited the morgue in Garissa on Monday but left disappointed.

Samples from the bodies have now been taken to the government chemist for analysis.