They were returning to school after spending the Eid celebrations with their families.

They, however, did not complete their journey as their lives were cut short by a roadside bomb in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia.

"We have eight victims - four children and four police," a police spokesperson told AFP following the explosion between Mararani and Kiunga, just a handful of kilometers from the border.

The blast bore the hallmarks of similar bombings blamed on Shabaab Islamists who have targeted security forces in the past.

Seven police officers and a civilian were killed at the end of May when an armoured vehicle drove over a roadside bomb in southeastern Kenya. This came a week after 14 others died in three similar attacks the group claimed.

Across the border, the Al-Qaeda linked extremist group last week claimed responsibility after driving an explosives-laden minibus into local government offices in the capital Mogadishu, killing at least 10 people.

That attack followed the alleged assault on two Mogadishu restaurants which killed at least 18 people.

The group has also launched attacks in Uganda, which, like Kenya, contributes troops to a 22 000-strong African Union force in Somalia.