DR Congo: 2 kidnapped British tourists released

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

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

Two Britons kidnapped in a national park in DR Congo have said they are "very grateful" after their release.

Until Friday's incident, no significant attack had been launched on tourists in the park for almost 20 years, despite scores of attacks on rangers and Congolese nationals living in or driving through the park, which hugs the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. On April 9, five rangers and a driver were killed in an ambush in the park.

More than 175 rangers have died protecting Virunga National Park, which is located in the rugged mountains and volcanic plains adjacent to neighouring Rwanda and Uganda. She was identified as 25-year-old Rachel Katumwa on Saturday.

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"We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident".

The British Foreign Office confirmed it was in touch with the Congolese authorities following the incident and said its staff were supporting the tourists' families.

Soldiers at an Army base a few hundred yards from where the latest kidnapping took place were criticised for their slow response.

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In April, Mr de Merode, told the BBC World Service that recent attacks were part of "a bigger picture which involves the trafficking of natural resources".

A park ranger who tried to protect them was shot dead by the attackers.

The park, which is a Unesco world heritage site, is home to critically-endangered mountain gorillas, lions, elephants and hippos.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Goma and has urged Britons not to go beyond the city.

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