Doctors kidnapped in Mandera ‘are well,’ Cuba says

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Two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Mandera in April and taken to Somalia “are well,” a Cuban official said Tuesday, adding that both countries were working to get them released.

“The Kenyan authorities affirmed that both doctors, Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez, are well and they will continue their efforts, as well as those carried out by our country, for their safe return to Cuba,” Ines Maria Chapman, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers, told reporters in Havana on Monday after returning from a trip to Kenya.

The pair, a general practitioner and a surgeon, were abducted on April 12 by suspected Al-Shabaab jihadists in Mandera, near the border with Somalia.

A top government official said in May the gunmen had demanded $1.5 billion for their release.

Herrera and Rodriguez were part of a 100-member Cuban medical brigade that was working in Kenya under an agreement between the two countries.

“Our people can be sure that the Cuban government, like the government of Kenya, is making huge efforts, paying special attention to this issue,” Chapman said.

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