Hunt for kidnapped Britons in Congo's Virunga reserve marred by murder

  • Hunt for kidnapped Britons in Congo's Virunga reserve marred by murder

Hunt for kidnapped Britons in Congo's Virunga reserve marred by murder

The Britons were among three people abducted by unidentified armed men while reportedly visiting Virunga National Park, a renowned gorilla sanctuary in the east of the country.

Two British tourists are reported to have been taken hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to officials at the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICC), which is in charge of managing the park, the two tourists were kidnapped while returning to the city of Goma accompanied by park wardens.

The rising death toll has earned the park, which is a Unesco world heritage site, a reputation as one of the most risky conservation projects on the planet.

Reports that two Britons have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being investigated by the Foreign Office.

A park guard said the driver was injured in the ambush about 6 miles north of Goma.

In the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, unknown gunmen killed one of the guards of the Park and kidnapped the two tourists from the United Kingdom and their driver.

BBC Africa editor Will Ross said poachers are also active in the park, which is under threat due to the illegal felling of trees to make charcoal and plans for oil exploration.

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

Political instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had caused rising violence in the province of North Kivu, where the park, famous for its mountain gorillas population, is located.

"Then the Mai-Mai, who are Congolese, operate in the center of the park".

On April 9, six park staffers were killed in the deadliest known ambush of its kind in Virunga.