Kenyan policeman beheaded

Nairobi, Kenya - A Kenyan policeman has been beheaded in the country's central region by members of the notorious Mungiki sect, police said on Sunday.

The 40-year-old officer was decapitated on Saturday in Gatundu, about 40km north-east of the capital, local police commander Hassan Abdi told reporters.

"We were informed about the incident by villagers who spotted the body at around 8am. We then went there and took the body to the mortuary," he added.

Once a religious group of dreadlocked youths who embraced traditional rituals, authorities say the Mungiki sect has morphed into a ruthless gang blamed for criminal activities including extortion and murder.

Since March, the sect has been blamed for murdering at least 42 people, with 14 beheaded, mainly in Nairobi slums and central Kenya.

Police responded with a heavy-handed crackdown, killing scores of Mungiki adherents.