Saturday, 22 January 2022

Abducted American tourist, tour guide in Uganda rescued

KAMPALA: An American tourist and her tour guide, who were abducted in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 2, have been rescued by security forces, a government spokesperson has confirmed.

“Both were rescued from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are safely back in Kanungu district in Uganda,” CNN quoted the spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo as saying on Sunday.

“They are back at the lodge and she is expected to be in Kampala tomorrow (Monday).”

Opondo said the kidnappers fled the scene when law enforcement officers and soldiers moved in.

Ugandan police had said on April 4 that an armed gang kidnapped Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide at gunpoint from the national park and had made frequent demands for a $500,000 ransom.

The police however, had said that they would not pay the money.

But the ransom was paid by touring company Wild Frontiers Uganda to free Endicott and her tour guide, an informed source told CNN on Sunday.

The handover was “quiet and peaceful”, the source added.

Four other people were taken at the same time, but they were freed.

The US State Department said it was aware of the rescue.

“We are aware of reports that a US citizen hostage was recovered on April 7 by Ugandan security officials,” a Department spokesperson told CNN. “Privacy considerations prevent us from commenting further at this time.”

President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that he was “pleased to report” the two have been released.

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