At least two European nuns have been kidnapped by armed Somali men during a pre-dawn raid inside Kenya, witnesses said.
The Kenyan Red Cross Society said the men abducted the Catholic nuns on Monday from a small northern Kenyan town close to the Somali border, reported Aljazeera.
"The nuns were abducted from their residence in the town," the agency said in a statement.
One local aid worker in the small town of El Wak said the attackers hurled a grenade and then fired a rocket at a Kenyan police post.
"They started spraying bullets ... then they abducted the Dutch woman and Italian woman from the local church," he said.
The Kenyan Red Cross also said that the gunmen had escaped in three hijacked vehicles, and that it was feared they had taken their captives back across the border into Somalia.
There have been no immediate comments from Kenyan authorities.
Sheikh Hassan Hussein, the chairman of the neighbouring Gedo region in Somalia, said he was not sure of abductors' whereabouts.
"We don't know who exactly they were, but we can call them Somali bandits," Hussein told Reuters by telephone.
In the most recent attack on humanitarian workers in Somalia, men armed with pistols in Jamame, north of rebel-held Kismayu port, assassinated a Somali man on Sunday who ran the local office of Mercy Corps, a US-based charity organisation.
Armed Somalis also stormed an airstrip last week in central Somalia, kidnapping at least four European aid workers and two Kenyan pilots.
Armed Somali groups have carried out scores of kidnappings in recent months, often targeting either foreigners or Somalis working with international organisations to demand ransoms.
Armed men are still holding a Japanese female doctor and a Dutch nurse working for the French-based medical charity Medecins du Monde (MDM), who were abducted inside Ethiopia in September.
Two foreign journalists, a Canadian and an Australian, abducted in August are also being held by a Somali group.
Aid groups said in October that at least 24 aid workers had been killed so far this year in Somalia, with more than 100 attacks against aid agencies.