Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Guard killed, 3 kidnapped in DRC's Virunga park

Attacked The convoy the Brits were travelling in through Virunga National Park reportedly came under attack around 10am local time Attacked The convoy the Brits were travelling in through Virunga National Park reportedly came under attack around 10am local time
Ellis Copeland | 11 May, 2018, 23:28

The Foreign Office has confirmed that the two Brits have been kidnapped.

A female park ranger who was guiding the pair was shot dead in the ambush at Virunga national park, local media reports said.

Some tourists were kidnapped and a convoy attacked in the Virunga National Park, the Democratic Republic of Congo's famed haven for gorillas and other endangered species, a park source said.

A park spokesman told CNN that security staff were immediately deployed after there learned of the incident.

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

The park's director, Emmanuel de Merode, a Belgian national, was himself wounded in a road ambush between the park and Goma, the capital of North Kivu, in 2014.

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The park, its rangers and the gorillas they protect are under constant threat from poachers as well as armed groups vying for power in the aftermath of a devastating civil war that claimed five million lives from 1994-2003.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, it is home to about a quarter of the world's critically endangered mountain gorillas, as well as eastern lowland Grauer's gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi, elephants and lions.

It comes after Ebola fears prompted emergency measures in Nigeria across the border.

At least 17 people are reported to have been killed by the highly infectious virus.

Nine neighbouring countries have now been warned of the potential spread of Ebola.

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