Ugandan police rescue U.S. tourist and driver kidnapped in national park

Ugandan police rescue U.S. tourist and driver kidnapped in national park

A United States woman and her safari guide were freed Sunday after being kidnapped at gunpoint at a national park in Uganda five days ago, the local police said in a statement.

An US tourist and a safari guide kidnapped by gunmen in a Ugandan national park have been recovered safe and sound after a ransom was paid for their release, a safari firm said on Sunday.

The Uganda Police Force has confirmed that the two have been found alive and in good health.

Using the victim's phone, the kidnappers demanded a $500,000 ransom, police said.

Authorities gave no more details. The Ugandan government identified the driver as Jean Paul Mirenge.

Kimberley Sue Endecott, 35, was abducted by gunmen in Queen Elizabeth National Park, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 4.

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The other two tourists - reportedly an elderly couple - were rescued soon afterwards.

Ugandan police said Wednesday that they sent police officers, military personnel and wildlife authority officials to assist in the search.

The U.S. Embassy in Uganda last week urged visitors to "Exercise caution when traveling to this area due to ongoing security activity".

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of most visited in the East African country, with tourists flocking there to see lions, hippos, crocodiles and various types of antelope.

The snaps show Endicott and Jean-Paul Mirgene Remezo shaking hands with Paul Goldring, the director of Wild Frontiers, the tourist group that paid a ransom to get the pair released, according to CBS News. "Even a small payment to a group in, say, Africa can facilitate the killing or seizure of tens or even hundreds of others, including Americans or foreign nationals in that region".

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