Al-Shabab attack on Kenyan town Mandera kills 12

People gather at the scene of an attack carried out by Somalia-based militant Islamist group al-Shabab in the town of Mandera, Kenya.

At least 12 people have been killed in an attack in Kenya carried out by Somalia-based militant Islamist group al-Shabab.

Police in the Kenyan border town of Mandera said that the attackers used explosives during the overnight attack.

The target was a guesthouse hosting members of a theatre group who were in the town for performances in schools.

Deadly attacks on Christians
It is the latest in a spate of deadly attacks targeting Christians in the mainly Muslim region.

Reports say that the theatre group composed of university students who had travelled to the north-eastern town to perform plays in local schools.

At least six of the members are yet to be accounted for, while four are in hospital.

The militants have claimed the attack in an affiliated radio station saying “it launched an attack in Mandera killing 15 Kenyans.”

Earlier this month, al-Shabab militants killed six people in an attack the group said was aimed at forcing Christians out of the area.

Al-Shabab, based in Somalia, is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

The group has been at war with Kenya ever since Kenyan forces entered Somalia in October 2011 in an effort to crush them.

Kenyan troops are now part of the African Union mission in Somalia.

The militants have lost control of most Somali towns and cities in recent years but still control rural areas in southern and central Somalia.

Mercy Chukwudiebere