Friday, 22 June, 2018

British tourists abducted, guard killed in Congo park ambush

Kidnapping Two British citizens have been kidnapped while visiting the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Kidnapping Two British citizens have been kidnapped while visiting the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Faye Gross | 12 May, 2018, 08:24

The tourists were reportedly taken on a route after a ranger was killed in the park today in North Kivu.

It is believed they were visiting the world-famous gorilla sanctuary the Virunga National Park.

One wildlife park guard was killed and two British tourists and their driver were abducted in Virunga National Park in Congo, a park spokesman said Friday. But more details about this incident will be given.

In April, five rangers and a driver were killed in an ambush, the park's worst loss of life.

British media reported that two United Kingdom nationals had been abducted, and the British Foreign Office confirmed that it was "in close contact with the authorities in Democratic Republic of the Congo following an incident involving two British nationals", according to the Reuters news agency.

It covers 3,000 square miles on the country's border with Uganda and Rwanda.

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Virunga is home to about a quarter of the world's population of critically-endangered mountain gorillas, as well as to eastern lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, okapis, lions, elephants and hippos.

In Eastern Congo there are many armed groups that compete for mineral-rich land.

A fifth of the park's southern sector was deforested owing to illegal charcoal production, the park said. One of the park guards who accompanied the tourists was killed in the ambush, said Joel Wengamulay, the park's communications director, according to United Nations radio.

A number of kidnappings have taken place in the park in the past six weeks. A few months ago, two United Nations experts were killed by militiamen.

And in a separate incident a park ranger guarding a hydroelectric plant died in an attack by armed men.

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