Gunmen killed at least seven people as they made their way to pray at a mosque in the remote Kenyan town of Malele close to the Somali border, a local government official said yesterday.

Kenya has been hit by grenade and bomb attacks since its troops crossed into Somalia in October 2011 and has blamed al Qaeda-linked Somali militants and their sympathisers.

Malele is close to the world's largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which holds nearly half a million people, most of them Somalis who have fled more than two decades of war and famine.

Loading article content

"The bandits opened fire at the villagers at Malele area which is near the Dadaab refugee camp in Liboi district and killed five men and two women," the official said.

The attacks have added to fears of unrest prior to a general election in March.