Abducted Cuban doctors are detained at El-Adde, a town controlled by Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, Voice of America Journalist Harun Maruf has claimed.

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The award-winning journalist who is credited for his work 'Inside Al-Shabaab', said elders from Mandera have been pitching tent in the war torn town, negotiating for their release.

"Regarding the abduction of Cuban doctors, I spoke to the Mandera elders and they told me they are trying to seek the release of the two doctors using customs and traditions. They’ve been told the doctors are held in El-Adde, an Al-Shabaab-controlled town in Gedo, Somalia," Maruf said.

He added: "One of the elders, Mohamed Abdinur Gesey, says they want to get the doctors released peacefully. He said the elders have reached out to their counterparts in Beled Hawo town on the other side of the border in Somalia to seek their support.

According to him, elders from the Kenyan side are still shocked with the incident but insisted they will ensure the two physicians are released and returned home safely without conflict.

Another elder in Mandera said the abduction “shocked” the community in the Mandera County. Asked what message he has for Al-Shabaab, he said, “It’s good to judge the coin from both sides”. “They must be returned to us.

His accounts correspond to those of RTN Somali TV, which broadcasts in Somali language. The station reported that the medics had been pictured in a forested Halaanqo area, within Barawe, Gedo region alive.

KDF troops from Ranger Strike Regiment (Special Forces and Rangers Strike Force) have been deployed to help in such and rescue but sources say they have given elders time to use negotiations.

Kenya lost over 200 soldiers at El-Adde town in 2016 January when suspected Al-Shabaab militants ran over a camp, causing unimaginable damage. It was established that KDF in AMISOM had deserted the town, allowing Al-Shabaab to retake it.