Near Kenya’s border with Somalia, attackers thought to be al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab fighters kidnapped two paramedics, a driver, and a patient, according to authorities.
As the patient was being transferred to a hospital in the county, the attackers ambushed an ambulance that belonged to the regional county government of Mandera in the northeast of the nation.
The Lafey police station in Mandera reported late on Tuesday that “the…. ambulance (was) in route to Elwak hospital for referral with a patient… and… in the company of hospital staff.”
“They were taken hostage by a possible AS (al Shabaab) militia and sent to Somalia. Due to network problems, they are not in contact right now.”
Al Shabaab has targeted security personnel, schools, vehicles, towns, and telephone infrastructure in the past as part of their mission to compel Kenya into removing its forces from Somalia, even if the frequency and severity of their attacks have decreased in recent years.
Kenyan soldiers are a component of the African Union-mandated ATMIS peacekeeping mission, which is assisting in protecting the central government of Somalia from al Shabaab.
For more than a decade, Al Shabaab has fought to overthrow Somalia’s central government and install its own system of governance based on a strict application of Islamic sharia law.