Suspected terror militants based in Somali are now demanding Sh150 million(1.5 million U.S. dollars) in ransom to release two Cuban doctors abducted in Mandera County last month.
The abductors communicated the ransom demand through Mandera County community elders who traveled to a remote village located between Buale and El-Ade towns in Jubaland region of Somalia, Citizen TV reports.
The abducted medics – general practitioner Herera Corea and surgeon Landy Rodriguez – are reported to have been seen alive. This was confirmed by community elders from Mandera and Bulahawo in Somalia after days of negotiations.
The two foreigners, who were kidnapped on April 12th, are also said to be offering medical services to the community in a restricted environment.
According to sources, Kenyan authorities have sent back the elders seeking to negotiate the ransom further.
The medics were abducted on their way to work from home in Mandera town by armed gunmen suspected to be Al-Shabaab militants.
Herrera and Rodríguez are part of a contingent of 100 Cuban doctors who arrived last year in Kenya under an agreement signed between the two countries to improve access to specialized medical services.
Following the abduction, the State recalled doctors posted in counties bordering Somalia – Wajir, Garissa and Tana River – and reassigned them to other counties.