Kenyan media quoted police as saying that suspected militants from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militant group were behind the attack that targeted a guesthouse on Tuesday.
“We have found 12 bodies so far after we managed to access the building,” one senior police officer said, adding they were combing the area with the help of anti-terrorism police and sniffer dogs.
A police source said the 3:30 am (0030 GMT) attack on the Bishar Guesthouse left 11 men and one woman dead. The attack is the second of its kind in the northeast town of Mandera in less than a month. On October 6, six people lost their lives in an attack by al-Shabab on a residential compound in Mandera.
The Shabaab has a long record of launching attacks in Kenya as revenge for the country’s contribution to the African Union’s mission in Somalia which seeks to bolster the Somali government.Kenya sent over 3,000 soldiers to Somalia in late 2011 after al-Shabab carried out a series of raids inside Kenya.
The Takfiri group has been pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and other major cities in the country, but keeps carrying out attacks against civilians and troops. Kenya’s counties of Mandera and Garissa on the border have been hit by an upsurge of attacks by al-Shabaab militants. In April, the group carried out an attack against the Garissa University College campus, killing nearly 150 people.