Two British tourists kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Kidnapping Two British citizens have been kidnapped while visiting the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Unidentified armed men ambushed the group on Friday morning north of Goma, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, inside Virunga National Park.

The UK Foreign Office said in a statement: "We are in close contact with the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following an incident involving two British nationals, and our staff are providing support to their families".

It was the deadliest attack in recent years and took the total number of rangers killed in the park to 175.

The pair, who have not been named, were kidnapped in Virunga National Park.

"My thoughts are now with the family of Virunga Park ranger Rachel Makissa Baraka..."

Security guard Katumwa, 25, was killed defending the British pair, becoming the first female ranger in the history of the park to be murdered by bandits.

The Britons were among a group of people taken hostage, according to a spokesperson for the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN).


"We want to convey our deepest condolences to her family and our honest gratitude for her courage in the service of Congo".

In peacetime, the Virunga National Park has barely fended off the local warlords and gangsters seeking to strip it off its valuable timber or the government officials and vested corporate interests seeking to exploit its oil.

The national park, which runs along the border with Uganda and Rwanda, covers 3,000 sq miles (7,800 sq km).

The park is home to around a quarter of the world's critically endangered mountain gorillas and other endangered species, as well as lions, elephants, hippos and rare birds.

Wildlife authorities have tried to protect it but 170 rangers have been killed over the last 20 years, he added.

The Foreign Office now - and before the kidnapping - advises against travelling to the area.

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