British vacationers kidnapped in Congo freed


Two British tourists have been released in eastern Congo two days after being kidnapped, according to announcements Sunday by Virunga National Park and the British foreign secretary.

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

Mr Johnson said his thoughts were with Ms Baraka's family, the injured driver, "and the released British nationals as they recover from this traumatic incident".

Boris Johnson did not supply any additional particulars within the assertion launched Sunday, however paid tribute to the authorities from the African nation and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation "for his or her tireless assist throughout this disgusting case".

The tourists' vehicle was ambushed while transporting them from the park about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the city of Goma, a park guard told The Associated Press.

He said the park was protected by around 800 rangers but there were also estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 militia members in and around the park. She was the first female ranger to die in the park, which has now seen 175 killed by the militias.

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The park's director, Emmanuel de Merode, said: "Ranger Baraka's life was tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park".

"I have received information that the two British tourists have been released".

Tourism in the area have been severely affected in recent years by the rising violence caused by presence of militant groups and criminal gangs, who continue to fund a long-running war by pillaging the park's resources.

Last month, five young rangers and a driver in the park were killed in an ambush.

Founded in 1925, the Viruga National Park is a Unesco heritage site and one of the most important conservation sites in the world.