Twelve people have been killed in an overnight attack at Bishaaro Hotel in Mandera Town by suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen, police confirmed on Tuesday.
Mandera East police boss (OCPD) Ezekiel Singoe said the 12 included 10 who were visiting for set-book performances at schools in the county.
He said the 10 had arrived in Mandera on Monday to stage plays for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam candidates.
The police boss said they were still identifying the bodies.
The attackers used improvised explosive devices to break the metallic doors at the lodge before shooting the 12 dead in their rooms.
Each room in the hotel accommodated four to six people.
HEAVY GUN BATTLE
Earlier, there were reports of heavy gunfire overnight.
Mandera County Police Commander Job Boronjo on Tuesday morning confirmed the attack but said police were yet to get more details about deaths or injuries as it was still dark in the area.
"We are monitoring the situation. My officers are on the ground. We will give the details when the day breaks," Mr Boronjo said from Garissa, where he was attending an official meeting.
Asked about the exact place of the attack, Mr Boronjo said by phone: "Lets not go into details for now please. Lets wait for update as the day breaks."