Hardline Islamist fighters from al-Shabaab chant slogans as they rally in the streets of Mogadishu on October 30, 2009 Getty Images

Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terror group has claimed responsibility for an attack that left five police officers dead in an ambush in neighbouring Kenya. One of the group's spokespeople, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters four officers were also wounded as a police vehicle was ambushed and burned in Mandera county, on the border with Somalia.

The Islamist outfit added it will continue to carry out attacks until Kenya withdraws troops deployed to Somalia to help in the anti-terror fight.

Two of the policemen killed were burned beyond recognition in the attack, Mandera County Police Commander Job Boronjo told AP.

Ali Roba, governor of Mandera, confirmed the attack took place and claimed the presence of militants in the area "was long shared by locals".

Shabaab often targets Kenya in retaliation for the Linda Nchi military operation, which saw the deployment of Kenyan troops to Somalia to drive out the militants in 2011.

In one of its deadliest attacks, the militants killed 148 people at a university college in Garissa. The terrorists claimed the attack was carried out as the university was "on Muslim land colonised by non-Muslims".

Who are al-Shabaab militants?

Al-Shabaab, which means "The Youth", is a Somali terror group affiliated with al-Qaeda and The Islamic State (Isis, Daesh).

An off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union – a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia – Shabaab aims to overthrow the Somali government and impose its own version of Islam in the country.

It controlled Mogadishu and the southern region of Somalia from 2006 until 2011, when it was defeated by African Union peacekeepers.