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Two Britons kidnapped in Virunga National Park

Foreign tourists have been involved in a potential kidnapping incident and a female ranger has been seriously injured...

Posted: May 11, 2018 1:25 PM
Updated: May 11, 2018 1:25 PM

Foreign tourists have been involved in a potential kidnapping incident and a female ranger has been seriously injured in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a park spokesman told CNN on Friday.

The park was alerted to an incident at 10 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) and immediately deployed security staff to assess the situation, park spokesman Vianney Harakandi told CNN.

One female park ranger was "wounded" and has since been taken to the hospital for treatment. Her condition is unclear.

Security staff have yet to confirm the condition and identity of the foreign tourists caught up in the incident, but social media reports suggest that two British nationals are involved.

The UK Foreign Office declined to comment.

Virunga National Park, which lies in the eastern part of the country, is Africa's oldest park and also its most biologically diverse, with a varied landscape of active volcanoes, savannahs, mountains, lakes and forests.

Its mountain gorillas are perhaps the park's most prized residents -- not to mention the biggest draw for tourists to venture across the border from Rwanda.

However, tourism has suffered badly as militant groups and criminal gangs continue to fund a long-running war by pillaging the park's resources.

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