Suspected al-Shabaab militants kidnapped Friday morning two Cuban doctors in northern Kenya, killing one of the two police officers, who were protecting them, police confirmed.
Police and military authorities launched a joint task force to hunt down the militants, a senior police officer familiar with the investigation told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The police officer said the militants were suspected to have crossed into Somalia through the porous border.
"The fate of the two medics is currently unknown," the officer said.
Kenya’s public healthcare system has been facing turbulent times. Last June, the Kenyan government imported 50 Cuban doctors under a partnership with the Cuban Government to aid Kenyan doctors in the fields of oncology, nephrology, and dermatology where services are in high demand.
Kenya declared war on al-Shabaab militants from Somalia in October 2012 after the kidnapping of two Spanish female doctors working with Médecins Sans Frontières, al -Shabaab militants have vowed to carry out attacks in Kenya until Kenya pulls out its troops from Somalia. The bloodiest attack by the group on Kenyan soil claimed the lives of more than 140 students at Garissa University in Kenya.