Efforts to release kidnapped Cuban doctors continue: Cuban minister

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HAVANA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Efforts to secure the release of the two Cuban doctors kidnapped near Kenya's border with Somalia more than a week ago are being continued, Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda said Tuesday.

"This morning I had a conversation with Kenyan Health Minister. He informed us that his government maintains the actions to achieve the safe return of our kidnapped doctors," Portal twitted.

Assel Herera and Landy Rodriguez were driving to work in the hospital of the Mandera community when they were ambushed and kidnapped by suspected Al-Shabaab militants on April 12. During the abduction, one of the doctors' bodyguards was shot dead.

Kenyan authorities suspected the attackers are members of the Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab. A Kenyan radio station said last week that the two Cuban doctors were seen alive in a wooded area in Somalia, four days after their abduction.

On his Twitter account, Portal added that "the other members of the Cuban medical brigade in Kenya are doing well, providing their services to the people of that country."

The Cuban Medical Mission in Kenya started in June 2018. There are about 100 Cuban health staffers serving in the African country at present.

Al-Shabaab has been trying to pressure the Kenyan government to pull its troops out of Somalia. In January, the rebel group attacked a hotel in Nairobi, killing more than 20 people. Enditem

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