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Use all avenues to bring back the Cuban doctors, Muslim clerics

Muslim clerics in Garissa Saturday appealed to the government to use all available avenues to safely bring back home the Cuban doctors who were abducted on Friday morning by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the heart of Mandera town.
Dr. Herrera Correa and Landhi Rodriguez were seized by Al-Shahab militants in a well-coordinated attack as they were headed to work from their residence.
One of their bodyguards was shot and killed on the spot before the doctors were bundled into two waiting cars that sped off towards the Kenya-Somalia border.
The whereabouts of the two doctors is unknown as the government intensified their search with a dispatch of a team of multi-agency security team to Somalia.
Speaking at the Rtd general Mohamud Eid Grounds during a prayer for rain, the clerics urged ‘all those who were involved in the cowardly criminal act to unconditionally release the doctors’.
While describing the incident as ‘un-Islamic and unacceptable’, Garissa SUPKEM chair Abdullahi Salat urged the Somali community living in Somalia to closely work with their government and those of Kenya to ensure that the doctors were safely returned.
“We want to strongly condemn this incident that has only served to taint the image of our region once again when we all know that Mandera was slowly but steadily recovering from insecurity. It was four steps forward and is now six steps backward,” Salat said,
“We all know how valuable the doctors have been to our people since they were posted in our respective counties, especially in Mandera where they were passionately serving the residents who were suffering after the Kenyan doctors run away citing insecurity,” he added.
Salat said that the incident had not only dented the religion of Islam, the Somali community but also image of the people of North Eastern.
On his part, Sheikh Hussein Mahat said the incident should act as a wakeup call to the security apparatus to always remain alert at all times.
“These criminals have always lived in our midst and only wait for an opportune moment to strike and carry out attacks. We cannot afford to rest easy. Both the security apparatus and the citizens must remain alert. Security is our responsibility and it starts with me and you,” Mahat said.
The attack came as a wake-up call as Mandera has not had any terror-related incident for the past three years.
Trade which had been picking up is now at the risk of being disrupted in the wake of the latest incident.
By Jacob Songok

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