The militant group claimed responsibility for the killing of six Christians in the attack aimed at “forcing them out of the region”.
Police said the violence was launched on a residential block in Mandera town when people were sleeping.
Reports from the BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi from Kenya said the raid took place in the early hours of Thursday in an area popular with people who came from outside Mandera town.
It is the latest in a spate of deadly attacks targeting Christians in the mainly Muslim region.
In April 2015, al-Shabaab killed 148 people in an attack on Kenya’s north-eastern Garissa University College and the militants reportedly singled out Christians and shot them, while freeing many Muslims.
Afterwards, Kenya’s government announced that it would build a security wall along parts of the border to keep the militants out. But it is likely to abandon the plan because of strong resistance from Somalia’s government and border communities.
However, its current focus is on recruiting more local Muslim police reservists and the strategy has had some success in curbing attacks.
Muslims in the north-east increasingly see al-Shabaab as a threat to their own interests, and are making a concerted effort to improve relations with Christians living there.
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