Two Britons held hostage in Democratic Republic of Congo freed

Two Britons held hostage in Democratic Republic of Congo freed

The pair were taken in the Virunga National Park, a renowned gorilla sanctuary in the east of the African country.

Their park guard was killed and their driver was also kidnapped.

UK Foreign Office said on Sunday that the two British tourists being held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had been released.

Johnson paid tribute to DR Congo authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their "tireless help".

The tourists, a man and a woman, are believed to have been ambushed by an unidentified group of armed men on Friday morning in Goma, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, while they were exploring Virunga National Park with another person.

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The park released a statement saying Ms Baraka was trying to protect two passengers and the driver of the vehicle when it was attacked by armed assailants.

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

According to local press reports, the Congolese army reacted quickly in their attempt to try to find the kidnapping victims.

Cosma Wilungula, director general of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation, said: "We would like to thank our fearless team for ensuring the swift resolution of this incident, and the safe return of the two British nationals".

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

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A statement by Virunga National Park said, they are receiving "support and medical attention".

A 25-year-old park ranger travelling with Ms Davies and Mr Jesty was killed and their driver was also taken captive, a park spokesman said.

On April 2, a park ranger died in an attack by armed men while guarding the site of a hydroelectric plant that is under construction.

A number of kidnappings have taken place in the park in the past six weeks.

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