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Cuba denies doctors kidnapped in Kenya have been freed

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Cuba on Wednesday denied that two doctors kidnapped by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in 2019 have been released, rejecting claims to that effect by Kenyan police.

“I deny the information circulating this morning about the alleged liberation of the two kidnapped Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodriguez Hernandez,” said Foreign Affairs Ministry Press Director Juan Antonio Fernandez.

“Considerable efforts are ongoing to ensure their freedom and their safe and healthy return to our country.”

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Earlier on Wednesday, a senior Kenyan police officer told AFP: “It is true they have been freed. The doctors are now safe.”

The two doctors were part of a 100-member Cuban medical brigade working in Kenya under an agreement between the two countries.

Herrera, a general practitioner, and Rodriguez, a surgeon, were abducted in Mandera, near Kenya’s border with Somalia in April of last year.

One of two police officers escorting the doctors to work was shot dead by the attackers, who sped off towards Somalia with their captives.

A top government official said in May 2019 the kidnappers were demanding $1.5 million for their release.

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