Al Shabaab Reportedly Releases Cuban Doctors Kidnapped in Kenya

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    The Cuban doctors Herera Correa (left) and Landy Rodriguez who were abducted in 2019
  • UPDATE: 6:00pm October 7, 2020: A senior Cuban official stated reports that doctors Landy Rodriguez and Herera Correa were still being held captive. 

    General Director of Press and Communications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios stated that vast reports that the two medics had been released were fake.

    "I deny the information circulated at dawn today on the alleged release of the two kidnapped Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández. Efforts continue to ensure the liberation and safe return to the Homeland," the official stated. 

    The Cuban doctors (right and left) in an undated photo

    Al Shabaab militants have released two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Mandera in April 2019. 

    On Wednesday, October 7, ABC News reported that a senior Somali intelligence official disclosed the information to The Associated Press

    The duo, Landy Rodriguez and Herera Correa were waylaid by the militants in a raid which saw one journalist shot dead. 

    The doctors were released by the terror group following months of successful negotiations with the Somali Intelligence who acted on behalf of the Cuban Government. 

    Bruno Rodríguez, Cuba’s foreign minister, in a social media post confirmed their release and thanked the Somali government for its help. 

    The minister stated that he had spoken with Somalia’s foreign minister, Ahmed Isse Awad.

    “I had a telephone conversation with the Somalian Foreign Minister Mr. Ahmed Isse Awad. I appreciated the support and efforts of his government to guarantee the safe return of our kidnapped doctors,” Rodrigiuez tweeted. 

    Kenya's Foreign Affairs Ministry declined to comment on the development. 

    In December 2019, Cuban Council of Ministers Vice President, Ines Maria Chapman had issued an updated on the health and progress of the two medics.

    Chapman detailed that the two were being treated well and were alive. 

    "The Kenyan authorities ratified that both doctors are well and will continue efforts for their safe return, she stated.

    The two doctors were part of the first 100 foreign doctors dispatched to work in Kenya owing to negotiations between Kenya and Cuba.

    Al-Shabaab militants conduct military drills at a base in Somalia.
    Al-Shabaab militants conduct military drills at a base in Somalia.
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