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Originally published February 21, 2013 at 1:25 AM | Page modified February 21, 2013 at 9:03 PM

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7 killed in mosque attack in Kenya's east

A Kenyan official says gunmen have opened fire at a mosque in Kenya's east, killing seven people.

The Associated Press

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NAIROBI, Kenya —

A Kenyan official says gunmen have opened fire at a mosque in Kenya's east, killing seven people.

Maalim Mohammed, the county commissioner of Kenya's Garissa county, said Thursday that about eight gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles shot at a mosque in the village of Malele near the Kenyan-Somali border.

Mohamed says the motive of the attack is not clear. The region has been a hotspot of attacks blamed on al-Qaida-linked militants from Somalia. Somalia's al-Shabab militants have vowed to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Kenya's military push into Somalia in late 2011.

Thursday's attack comes less than two weeks before Kenya holds nationwide elections. There are fears al-Shabab-affiliated militants may try to disrupt the election with attacks.

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