Friday April 12, 2019 (RBB NEWS) – Nairobi Two Cuban doctors have been abducted by gunmen in northeast Kenya on Friday, according to police and security officials.
Kenyan authorities believe that Al-Shabaab fighters ambushed the foreign doctors and killed their security – a Kenya police officer – in Mandera, near Kenyan borders with Somalia, and drove towards the Somali border.
Kenya’s largest daily newspaper reports the assault began at 9 am (local time) when the armed assailants blocked the medics vehicle as they set off for work. The doctors may have been travelling in a marked government vehicle when gunmen opened fire on them. Their police escort was killed instantly. Another police officer was able to escape. The assailants then took the doctors into their vehicle and raced off.
The Cuban doctors were in Kenya as part of the Kenya-Cuba doctors exchange program.
The KDF has reportedly dispatched two vehicles to give chase as they believe that the Cuban doctors are en route to Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has been accused of staging a similar kidnapping on a 23-year-old Italian aid worker was abducted from her hotel room on Kenya’s coast.
The attack raises renewed security concerns for Kenyan authorities in the troubled region that borders Somalia. Mandera County launched a six-year plan on prevention and counter-violent extremism on Thursday.
Kenya has been added to the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories list for 35 countries to highlight the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking.