The statement said the attack in the early hours of Thursday was “planned… and killed Christians” in the Kenyan region which is mainly inhabited by ethnic Somali Muslims.
The attack targeted a gated residential building which mainly housed non-locals, less than a km from the volatile Somalia border town of Beled Hawa. “We have suffered yet another attack in Mandera and sadly we have lost six people,” Governor Ali Roba said in a statement.
Police chief Joseph Boinnet told AFP that there were 33 people inside the compound when the attack took place. The others escaped unharmed.
Several attacks in the region have seen al-Shabaab militants target Christians. In November 2014 gunmen flagged down a commuter bus, separated passengers by religion and executed 28 non-Muslims. And in a deadly attack that killed 148 people at Garissa University in northeastern Kenya in 2015, the gunmen lined up non-Muslim students for execution.