Suspected al-Shabab fighters beheaded nine men in an overnight assault on a village in the Kenyan coastal district of Lamu, police said, days after the armed group killed three police officers in an attack on a nearby village.
A witness, who asked not to be named, confirmed the death toll to Reuters news agency.
"They raided Jima and Pandanguo villages and killed nine men. They were slaughtered like chickens, using knives," said the witness.
In a televised address on Saturday morning following the death in hospital of Kenya's Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery, President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke of "an unfortunate incident this morning, which we are assessing".
Appointing Education Minister Fred Matiangi as acting security minister, Kenyatta promised there would be "no vacuum in securing our country".
Earlier in the week, three police officers were killed in an attack on a police post in Lamu, blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group.

da "aljazeera.com"