Uganda: Gunmen abduct US Tourist

An American tourist and his driver were kidnapped by some unknown gunmen in Uganda, inside a national park close to the border Democratic Republic of Congo, this was confirmed by the government spokesman, Ofwono Opondo, on Wednesday.

According to reports, the Ugandan soldiers are already on the hunt of the gunmen, who abducted the pair around dusk on Tuesday.

The statement released read; “Four armed men, not yet identified, between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm (1400-1600GMT), staged an ambush and kidnapped an American tourist with his Ugandan driver near Katoke Gate in the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

“A joint operation by the Uganda police, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Wildlife Authority Game Wardens is underway to locate and rescue them,” Opondo added.

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“The priority at this point is to locate, rescue and bring them back to safely.”

Four other tourists, who were present when the gunmen attacked but were not abducted or physically harmed, managed to raise the alarm from the lodge where they were staying.

“Four tourists, who were left abandoned and unharmed, later contacted the base and were quickly got safely out of any danger,” Opondo said.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the East African nation’s most famous wildlife reserves, runs along the frontier with conflict-wracked regions of DR Congo, bordering its famous Virunga national park, Africa’s oldest national park

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Numerous militia groups and armed gangs roam eastern DR Congo. Virunga suspended all tourism activities last year following the kidnapping of two British tourists. The Britons and their driver were freed two days after the attack.

 

In 1999, Rwandan rebels killed eight foreign tourists there, inflicting an enormous blow to Uganda’s tourist industry.

Source: AFP

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