Four Kenyans, including a patient and two medics, who were abducted by al-Shabaab militants have been moved to the terrorists’ stronghold in El-Adde, Somalia.
Officials pursuing the victims said they had been taken more than 100 kilometers away from the Kenya-Somalia border.
The militants have not made any contact with Kenya or families of the victims since November 1 when the incident happened.
Authorities believe the group was after the ambulance and the medics who they want to make use of in treating their injured militants.
North Eastern head of police George Seda said efforts were being made to ensure the safe return of those abducted.
“We have employed various mechanisms to ensure the safe return of the four Kenyans and their vehicle,” he said.
The mechanisms include the use of elders to negotiate with their counterparts in Somalia.
The four were abducted Tuesday evening after al-Shabaab militants hijacked an ambulance that was ferrying a patient to a hospital in Elwak, Mandera County.
The attack took place as a driver raced with a patient and two paramedics on board on Tuesday evening.
All the victims are locals and there are high chances they will be released, officials involved in the search said.
The four victims included two paramedics based at Lafey Sub-County hospital, a patient, and the driver of the ambulance and were en route to Elwak hospital for referral services.
The four were identified as the 40-year-old patient-Moulid Abdi, Hassan Shaaban (driver), Abdirashid Billow Hussein and Aden Dai, both of who are staff at Lafey hospital.
The attackers were armed with rifles at the time of the incident.
Officials said there have been threats of attacks in the area.
The area has been facing attacks and threats from the militants who are roaming there.
Such attacks are common and they are usually solved through dialogue and the use of elders in the area.
Two Cuban doctors were in 2019 abducted from Mandera Town in an attack that left one police officer dead.
Landy Rodríguez Hernández and Assel Herrera Correa were being driven to work when the militants struck and escaped with them. Reports suggest they were later released after a ransom was paid.
A driver who was driving them was later arrested and charged in a Nairobi court and later convicted.
Elwak is near the Kenya-Somalia border and is usually breached by terrorists who attack at will.
Two weeks ago, the terrorists went to two mosques in the area and lectured those present telling them to join them in their quest to fight non-Muslims.
They also attacked two communication masts before escaping.
Terrorists have been targeting security installations in a series of incidents and destroying them.
They at times throw explosives, which don’t explode.
The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by residents.
Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.