At least seven people died Thursday when gunmen opened fire on people attending the morning prayer session in a mosque near the Kenyan town of Liboi, some 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Somali border.

Regional police chief Maalim Mohamed - quoted Thursday by the online edition of The Standard - said that five men died inside the sanctuary while two women were killed outside.

Police said that they do not as yet know the motive for the attack or whether it is linked to the more than 40 terrorist attacks Kenya has seen since 2011, when its army entered Somalia to fight the Muslim fundamentalist Al Shabaab militia.

Eyewitnesses quoted by The Standard said that the attack was carried out by eight men armed with AK-47 assault rifles who, after the massacre, set fire to homes near the mosque and then fled.

The witnesses also said that many people are missing after the incident, although it was not clear whether any of them had been abducted or killed elsewhere.

The mosque where the attack took place is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the Dadaab camp housing Somali refugees. EFE