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FILE PHOTO - Kenya's Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery inspects an assortment of guns during a public destruction of 5250 illicit firearms and small weapons, recovered during various security operations in Ngong hills near Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's interior minister has died in hospital, the government said on Saturday, a month before the country is due to hold national elections.

"It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce the sudden passing on of Interior CS Retired General Joseph Nkaissery," Joseph Kinyua, the chief of staff and head of the public service, said in a statement.

"Gen. Nkaissery passed on at Karen Hospital in Nairobi a few hours after being admitted for a check-up," he said.

No further details were released.

Kenyans will choose their next president, legislators and local representatives on Aug. 8.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is running against his long-time rival, veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Some citizens are worried there might be a repeat of violence that followed a disputed 2007 poll, when more than 1,200 people were killed in ethnic clashes and political demonstrations.

But 2013 polls passed relatively peacefully after Odinga challenged the results in court.

Nkaissery's death is unlikely to affect preparations for the elections.

(Reporting by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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