Uganda police say kidnapped USA woman and driver are freed

Uganda police say kidnapped USA woman and driver are freed

An American woman and her driver, kidnapped in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park, have been rescued, Ugandan police said on Sunday.

Four men had held them up at gunpoint and then "grabbed two out of four. before disappearing with them", police said.

The 35-year-old woman and her Congolese driver were returned to a lodge in the park, ABC News cited a spokesman for the Ugandan safari operation as saying. The kidnappers had used one of the hostages' phones to make an initial demand of US$500,000.

Mr Bashir Hangi, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesperson, on Sunday told Daily Monitor that the abductees had been found before promising to provide more details later.

They were on April 2 kidnapped inside the famous Queen Elizabeth national park, close to the border with the DRC.

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Abductions and related attacks on tourists are rare in Uganda and the last such incident occurred in 1999.

Uganda's joint security forces would later be dispatched to reinforce the security teams at Queen Elizabeth national park.

Authorities previously said they did not plan to pay the ransom, and it remains unclear if they did in order to secure Endicott's release.

They were traveling in a motor vehicle Reg No UAR 777E of World Frontiers Safaris Uganda with an elderly couple, also tourists.

Kimberly Endicott, 56, of Costa Mesa, California, and Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo were freed from their captors with the help of the Uganda Police Force and sister security agencies, the Government of Uganda wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. "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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