Suspected Islamist militants abducted two Cuban doctors in an ambush that killed a police bodyguard in northern Kenya near the Somali border, officials said Friday.

It was the second abduction of a foreigner in five months likely carried out by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which is based in Somalia.

The gunmen may have taken the doctors into Somalia, police spokesman Charlse Owino said. He said the doctors' driver had been detained to help with investigations.

The doctors were ambushed as they headed to work, said David Ohito, communications director for the Mandera county government.

Gov. Ali Roba said the gunmen's vehicle blocked the doctors' vehicle "and opened fire at their bodyguards, killing one instantly." Al-Shabab was suspected, the governor said.

Read more: Minneapolis Star Tribune