Gunmen kidnapped two Cuban doctors in the northeastern Kenya and took them to Somalia demanding $1.5 million (1.35 million euros) for their release.
The abducted doctors who are general practitioner and a surgeon were abducted on April 12 by suspected Al-Shabaab jihadis in Mandera, near the border with Somalia.
One of two police officers escorting the doctors to work was shot dead by the attackers, who sped off toward Somalia with their captives, officials said.
According to reports,the government of both Kenya and Somalia are working together to find the doctors, who Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel identified as Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodriguez Hernandez.
A top government official in Mandera said the kidnappers have demanded a ransom.
“The amount is $1.5 million. That is what they want,” the official said on condition on anonymity.
A senior police officer told AFP a ransom had been demanded, but would not elaborate. Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino said he had no such information.
Several sources said the doctors were believed to be providing medical services in Somalia.
They were part of a group of about 100 Cubans who went to Kenya last year to boost health services there.