Kenyan police say they have "great suspicions" that the two Spanish Doctors Without Borders (MSF) volunteers kidnapped from a refugee camp in Dadaab, in the northeast of the country on Thursday "have not crossed the border" with Somalia as previously believed.
"We are not sure where they are exactly, as if we knew we would have rescued them," said Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino. "What we can say is that here on the ground, we are working and continuing to search for them."
Meanwhile, MSF has revealed that the second kidnapped woman, whose identity was not initially released, is Blanca Thiebaut, aged 30 and from Madrid.
Thiebaut, together with Monserrat Serra Ridao, aged 40, from Palafrugell (Girona province), was taken after militants believed to belong to Al-Shabab, a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda, intercepted the vehicle in which they were traveling, shooting the driver in the neck. Authorities pursued the vehicle, which was reported to have been traveling toward the frontier with Somalia. A spokesman for Al-Shabab in Somalia has denied that the group was involved in the attack, Reuters reported.
Spanish government spokesman José Blanco said Spain was working "with prudence, discretion and intelligence" after being asked about the health of the victims during Friday's post-Cabinet meeting press conference.
Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez has met with MSF "to exchange information and establish a permanent collaboration" to get the pair freed.
According to a UN source, the NGO has decided to move its staff at the Dadaab camp to Nairobi.