Two Cuban doctors were kidnapped by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the far north-east area of Kenya, killing a policeman in the process.

The attack took place in Mandera town, on the border with Somalia, at about 09:00 local time (08:00) while the medics were being escorted by two police officers.

Kenyan officials suspect the attackers were members of neighbouring Somalia-based Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab.

“All security agencies have been mobilised to pursue the criminals and rescue the victims,” said Kenyan police in a statement.

Last year, over 100 Cuban medical specialists were brought to Kenya in order to improve the health service.

Mandera and the area around the town, has seen several Al-Shabaab attacks and kidnappings in recent years.

In January, the militant group announced that it was behind the attack on the DusitD2 hotel and office complex in the capital, Nairobi, in which 21 people died.

Al-Shabaab is battling the UN-backed government in Somalia, while Kenyan troops are part of an African Union force that is supporting the government in Mogadishu.