NAIROBI, Kenya — Two Cuban medical doctors have been kidnapped close to Kenya’s border with Somalia on Friday, in a daring assault that left one police officer lifeless and that officers say was in all probability linked to the Shabab militant group.
The kidnapping passed off early Friday when the medical doctors have been on their method to work. They left their residence and have been touring to Mandera County Referral Hospital, lower than two miles from the border, in a authorities automobile with two law enforcement officials escorting them, when two autos boxed them in, the police stated.
One police officer was shot and killed, and the attackers spirited the medical doctors throughout the border in their very own automobile. The automotive was later recovered, together with a driver, who was taken in for questioning, the police stated.
A spokesman for the police, Charles Owino, stated the attackers could be linked to the Shabab militant group, an Al Qaeda affiliate, however he left open the chance that it could possibly be one other group.
Whereas the Kenyan authorities didn’t launch the names of the medical doctors, Cuba’s Ministry of Public Well being recognized them as Assel Herrera Correa, a basic practitioner from the province of Las Tunas, and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, a surgeon from Villa Clara.
In a report that aired on Kenya’s Citizen TV final July, the medical doctors stated they have been involved after they first realized of their posting to the hospital in Mandera.
“My response was unhealthy once I checked the web,” Dr. Rodríguez stated within the interview. He stated his search confirmed that the Shabab had carried out assaults within the space. Dr. Herrera instructed the community that he had additionally labored in Brazil and Venezuela in “very laborious situations.”
Medical doctors are significantly wanted within the area as a result of native well being employees have fled in worry of Shabab assaults. Dr. Herrera instructed the tv community that he noticed round 20 sufferers a day, whereas Dr. Rodríguez carried out 10 surgical procedures every day.
The 2 have been a part of a gaggle of about 100 Cuban medical doctors deployed to Kenya in June 2018, in response to the nation’s Ministry of Well being, to assist the nation put a common well being protection program in place.
For many years, Cuba has despatched medical doctors to international locations around the globe as a part of a government-sponsored plan to offer coaching and help.
Some 400,000 well being care employees have been despatched on medical missions in 164 nations prior to now 5 many years, in response to the Cuban authorities. They’ve labored to fight the Ebola virus in Africa and cholera in Haiti, in addition to having responded to pure disasters and different epidemics.
The kidnapping comes within the wake of the State Division on Tuesday issuing an advisory urging Individuals to not journey to Kenya’s coastal areas and areas on the Somalia border due to the specter of terrorism.
Kenyan officers have condemned the kidnapping and vowed to seek out the medical doctors.
Hillary Mutyambai, Kenya’s newly appointed head of police, stated that the nation was working intently with the federal government of Somalia to make sure the medical doctors have been returned safely.
The Shabab claimed accountability for a significant assault on the DusitD2 lodge and workplace advanced in Nairobi in January that left 21 individuals lifeless, and it frequently carries out assaults in Somalia.
The Trump administration stepped up airstrikes towards the group this 12 months, and the US estimates 5,000 to 7,000 Shabab fighters are lively in Somalia. The African Union Mission in Somalia, or Amisom, has additionally been actively preventing the militant group in Somalia since early 2007.