At least six people have been killed in an attack in northeast Kenya by suspected fighters from the Somalia-based group al-Shabab, the regional governor and Kenyan media reported.

The governor of Mandera county, where the attack took happened, Ali Roba, confirmed to the Reuters news agency comments he had made on Twitter about the incident.

The Mandera region on the Somali border has often been targeted by al-Shabab, which says it will continue a campaign of violence in Kenya until the government there withdraws its troops from Somalia where they are part of an African Union force.

"We have suffered another sad attack," Roba wrote on Twitter.

"If not for the quick response by our security forces, we would be talking of many more casualties now," he told Reuters by telephone. "From the nature and style of the attack, it will obviously be al-Shabab."


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Kenya's Daily Nation said on its website that the attack happened early in the morning at a public works site.

There was no immediate comment from al-Shabab.

Repeated attacks in Kenya by al-Shabab have killed hundreds of people in the past three years or so and hurt the country's vital tourism industry.

The assaults have often been in the northeast, near the long and porous border with Somalia, but the group has also struck coastal areas popular with tourists and the capital Nairobi, where al-Shabab gunman attacked the Westgate shopping centre in 2013.

Source: Agencies