Cuba working to rescue two doctors abducted in Kenya

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The Cuban government is working to rescue two doctors abducted in Kenya by suspected Al-Shabaab militants, said President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Sunday.

“Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel and Landy, our doctors kidnapped in Kenya,” Diaz-Canel tweeted.

“With them and their loved ones, we share the certainty that their humanitarian mission will be respected and recognized. We believe in the power of solidarity,” he added.

The two doctors, who were treating patients in Mandera, a community on Kenya’s border with Somalia, were ambushed on Friday by armed men.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted he had spoken by phone to his Kenyan counterpart Monica Juma about the measures Kenya’s government was taking.

More than 100 Cuban doctors working in Kenya are safe, he said, adding that “Cuba’s embassy in Nairobi is in permanent contact with them.”

Kenya’s national police force said it was searching for the abductees, and Kenyan media reported Saturday that at least 10 elders, or highly regarded Somali leaders, from Mandera left for Somalia in an attempt to negotiate the release of the doctors.

Al-Shabaab is trying to pressure Kenyan government to pull its troops out of Somalia. In January, the rebel group attacked a hotel in Nairobi, killing more than 20 people.