Somalia’s extremist Shabaab militants on Thursday claimed an attack on a residential compound in the restive northeastern Kenyan town of Mandera that left six “Christians” dead, according to their Telegram account.

The statement said the attack in the early hours of Thursday was “planned… and killed Christians” in the Kenyan region.

The attack targeted a gated residential building which mainly housed non-locals, less than a kilometer (0.6 miles) 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.

Security official Mohamud Ali Saleh said the attackers used explosives to gain access to the fortified building.

“We highly suspect the attackers are members of the Shabaab insurgent group, who have sneaked across the porous border,” he said.

“These criminal gangs are desperate to hurt innocent Kenyans since they were defeated badly and routed out of all their hideouts in the neighboring country.”

Saleh said that security officers who were carrying out regular patrols of the border heard gunshots and explosions and quickly responded.

Several attacks in the region have seen Shabaab militants target Christians.

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