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Kenya arrests 1 suspect over 2 Cuban doctors' abduction

Friday April 12, 2019

The doctors were travelling to work under a police escort when they were ambushed / Reuters 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police said Friday they are interrogating one suspect in connection with the abduction of two Cuban doctors in Mandera town in northeast Kenya near the Somali border by suspected al-Shabab militants.

Charles Owino, spokesman for Kenya's National Police Service said the suspect who is a driver of the two medics will be questioned on the incident in which a police officer who was guarding the two foreigners was killed.

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"They were abducted on their way to work and the vehicle that was ferrying the doctors has been recovered. We have arrested the driver who is currently being interrogated," he told journalists in Nairobi.

Owino said the two, Assel Herera Correa and Landy Rodriguez, were heading to Mandera County Referral Hospital which is their work station before the ambush at around 9 am.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Mandera following the abduction. There are reports of gunshots being heard in the border area as the military moved to the scene in search of the victims.

The two medics are among 100 Cuban specialists who arrived in the country in June 2018 as a bilateral arrangement between Kenya and Cuban governments.

Ali Roba, Mandera County governor said the assailants blocked their vehicle with a saloon car before alighting and opening fire on their bodyguards, killing one instantly.

"The officer lost his life in line of duty protecting the lives of our Cuban doctors. While I believe that all efforts are being done by our government to pursue the attackers, we would like to appeal to them to do whatever it takes to save the lives of our Cuban doctors and bring them back from captivity," Roba said.

The fate of the two doctors remains unknown but security agencies led by the military are inside Somalia pursuing the attackers and victims.

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