Suspected Al-Shabaab militants abducted two Cuban doctors and killed one police officer in the Banisa area of Mandera town, about 1 km (0.62 mi) from the Kenyan-Somali border, around 09:00 (local time) on Friday, April 12. Two police officers had been escorting the doctors to work when armed assailants in two small cars reportedly blocked their vehicle and opened fire on them, killing one officer instantly. The other officer managed to escape the attack, while the assailants forced the doctors into their cars and escaped. Following the attack, police were deployed to the affected area and confirmed that the gunmen had crossed the border into Somalia.
A heightened security presence and similar cross-border attacks around the Kenyan-Somali border remain likely in the future.
The abducted Cuban doctors are among 110 Cuban specialists in the country invited by the Kenyan government to help improve the quality of medical services in rural areas. Al-Shabaab militants regularly carry out cross-border attacks in the counties surrounding the Kenyan-Somali border.
Individuals near the Somali border are advised to remain vigilant, refrain from non-essential travel to the region, and adhere to instructions issued by their home governments. Many Western governments strongly advise their citizens against travel to the counties along the Kenyan-Somali border (Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa).
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