In a press briefing on Saturday, he said Kenyan agencies were therefore liaising with their counterparts in Somalia in the rescue efforts.

NO RANSOM

Mr Owino ruled out the option of paying ransom to secure doctors' freedom, saying it would encourage abductions.

“We have to use professional means allowed by the law in undertaking our duties. I do not think payment of ransom is a method that is admissible," he told reports in the office of the Nyanza regional coordinator in Kisumu.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the doctors had expressed concerns over their safety before the gunmen attacked.

Of huge concern to Dr Correa, a general physician, and Dr Rodriguez, a surgeon, was the five-kilometre distance they had to cover daily from their house at Busley to their work station at the Mandera Level Four Hospital.

The two lived in a house owned by a county government official.

While the fate of the medics is unknown, a contingent of Kenya Defence Forces, various units of Kenya Police and Kenya Police Reservists have been dispatched to chase after the two vehicles used in the raid and abduction.

The driver who had been transporting the doctors to the hospital was arrested and questioned.

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