The Cuban doctors were taken Friday by armed men near Somalia. Kenyan national police say, 'concerted efforts are being made for their search and rescue.'
Kenyan officials are stepping up their search for two Cuban doctors kidnapped Friday morning in the northeastern corner of the country near the border with Somalia.
The Kenyan National Police Service has released a statement via Twitter saying that “concerted efforts are being made for their search and rescue by a multi agency security team.”
Assel Herrera Correa, a general medicine specialist and surgeon Landy Rodriguez Hernandez were kidnapped Friday morning local time as they were being escorted in an official vehicle to Mandera Hospital located in a northeastern county of Kenya that borders Somalia.
PRESS RELEASE— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) 13 de abril de 2019
UPDATE ON KIDNAPPING OF 2 CUBAN DOCTORS IN MANDERA
The National Security Advisory Committee met this morning and reviewed the operational status following the kidnapping of two Cuban Doctors Assel Herera Correa and Landy Rodriguez in Mandera yesterday. 1/4
The police say that Kenya’s National Security Advisory Committee has spoken with the nation’s Secretary of Health Sicily Kariuki who “is in touch with her counterpart in Cuba, who is also receiving regular briefs on the ongoing efforts to locate and rescue the doctors.”
Kenyan police are also in close communication with the nation's defense minister about the two missing medical professionals who are among 100 doctors in Kenya on a medical brigade to increase universal healthcare nationwide, according to local news.
The police say in their Saturday statement they want “to assure all members of the public and the international community that our country is safe as our security agencies remain vigilant and will spare no effort safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of all Kenya.”
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted Friday night that his office is in “permanent contact” with Kenyan officials regarding the missing doctors. “We've been in permanent contact with the government of that country, which is making its utmost. Their relatives in #Cuba have been kept informed.”
Since the kidnapping of Cuban doctors Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez in #Kenya, we've been in permanent contact with the government of that country, which is making its utmost. Their relatives in #Cuba have been kept informed. A governmental contact group is working.— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) April 13, 2019
The attackers, who police say they suspect are al Shabaab militants, blocked the government vehicle Correa and Hernandez were traveling in with two Toyota trucks and opened fire on the medics, killing one of the police officers accompanying the doctors while another was able to escape.
Kenyan media outlet, KBC, says authorities questioned the government driver.
Secretary of Foreign Relations for Kenya, Monica Juma tweeted “security agencies are engaged in the search and rescue mission to ensure safe return (of Cuban doctors). We (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs @ForeignOfficeKE) are also in contact with the Government of Cuba.”