Two British tourists kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Erika Holt
May 14, 2018

A number of kidnappings have taken place in the park in the past six weeks. At 10am on Friday, militiamen ambushed a jeep taking two Britons from a nearby city to the park.

Two British tourists who were kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been freed, the United Kingdom government and Congolese park officials said Sunday.

'I am delighted to announce that two British nationals who were held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] have been released, ' Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP that the two Britons were not hurt and the ministry would continue to provide support to them and their families.

They said she was taken to hospital for treatment but died from her injuries.

Park Director Emmanuel de Merode said she showed "true bravery" in her work.

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Ms Katumwa is understood to be the first female ranger to be killed in the park, which has been riven by violence in recent years.

He said: "We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident".

Baraka was critically injured when the vehicle the four were travelling in was attacked by armed assailants, the park said on its website.

The BBC's Louise Dewast, reporting from the country's capital Kinshasa, said there were armed groups operating in the park and there had been kidnappings before, with half involving a ransom demand.

Virunga is a Unesco world heritage site, covering 3,000 square miles on the Democratic Republic of Congo's border with Uganda and Rwanda. Mai-Mai militia were blamed for an attack last month in which six guards were killed.

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