08 July, 2017
At least nine people were killed in Lamu County in an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
Kenya is among five countries providing troops to an African Union force bolstering Somalia's fragile central government against al-Shabab's insurgency.
Police sources said Shabaab militants were believed to be behind the killings which took place in the villages of Jima and Pandaguo near the Somali border, an area that has seen a wave of recent attacks, mostly targeting the security forces.
According to villagers, most of the heavily armed assailants appeared to be ethnic Somalis. "They were slaughtered like chickens, using knives", a witness told Reuters.
Beheadings by al-Shabab have been rare in Kenya, where the extremist group has carried out dozens of deadly attacks over the years.
In a statement about the earlier incident, Lamu police said the attackers used rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons.
The group has previously said that the attacks are retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia to conduct anti-terrorist operations.
The attack comes a day after residents the village woke up to mysterious footprints suspected to belong to Al-Shabaab militants who have been wreaking havoc in various parts of the county for the past one month.
The increase in attacks can pose a security threat against Kenya's August 8 presidential election.
Linda Boni Operation Director James Ole Seriani confirmed the attack and said police have been deployed to pursue the attackers.