Notorious Al-Shabaab militants may have after all not planned and excuted abduction of two Cuban doctors working in Mandera County, intelligence reports have revealed.
Security forces in Nairobi have linked the abduction to bandits who are said to have been frustrated with affordable healthcare services offered to residents, thus compelling business rivals to plan for abduction of the two doctors.
General practitioner Herera Corea and surgeon Landy Rodriguez are said to have been seen alive by the elders who were sent to negotiate their release.
They were spotted near El-Adde town within Gedo region where they said to be offering medical services to locals under supervision of Al-Shabaab militants.
“They seem to be under the care and offering medical care services to the locals,” said a security official who cited the elders’ message.
After their abduction in April, security forces say, bandits handed them over to Al-Shabaab to increase ransom bargain. The militants in return have reportedly asked for Sh150 million for their release, a figure that Mandera elders have been asked to renegotiate.
A driver attached to the medics, Mr Isaac Robow, is in police detention after being directly linked to the abduction. He's said to have supervised the abduction by bandits.
“Based on the investigations and several leads being followed up by our team, there are compelling reasons to warrant the detention of the said suspect pending a detailed probe on terror related activities,” a state lawyer said.
The bandits, intelligence reports claim, are people trading in pharmaceutical business in Mandera, and are believed to have opposed deployment of the doctors to the Northern Frontier District County.