Al-Shabaab demands $1.5M to free abducted Cuban doctors

NAIROBI, Kenya

Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group has demanded a ransom of $1.5 million to release two Cuban doctors, who were kidnapped in Kenya last month, local media reported.

A group of elders from the Kenyan Somali community went to Somalia to negotiate the release of the doctors and returned on Thursday, confirming to local media that the doctors were safe and treating the local community in Somalia under the control of al-Shabaab militants.

Kenya’s Daily Nation reported that the abductors have demanded $1.5 million to free the doctors.

Kenya’s public healthcare system has been facing turbulent times. Last June, the Kenyan government imported 50 Cuban doctors under a partnership with the Cuban Government to aid Kenyan doctors in the fields of oncology, nephrology, and dermatology where services are in high demand.

Kenya declared war on al-Shabaab militants from Somalia in October 2012 after the kidnapping of two Spanish female doctors working with Doctors Without Borders.

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