Two British tourists kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Attacked The convoy the Brits were travelling in through Virunga National Park reportedly came under attack around 10am local time

Attacked The convoy the Brits were travelling in through Virunga National Park reportedly came under attack around 10am local time

Congolese soldiers and park rangers are searching for two British tourists kidnapped in the country's volatile eastern borderlands, an army spokesman said.

Their vehicle was ambushed while bringing the tourists from Kibumba to the city of Goma, Joel Wengamulay, spokesman for the Congolese Institute for The Conservation of Nature, told the United Nations -backed Radio Okapi.

A spokesperson for the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) said: "For the moment the [ICCN] can not communicate much about the incident because the hostages are still in captivity. That would put their lives in danger", he said according to a translation by Sky News. One park ranger was killed and three other people, including the British citizens, were abducted.

Virunga is a Unesco world heritage site and one of the most important conservation areas in the world, covering 7,800 sq km (3,011 sq miles), along the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo with Uganda and Rwanda.

Last year, a fifth of the park's southern sector was deforested owing to illegal charcoal production.

In 2014, Netflix released Virunga, a documentary on the Virunga park rangers who are tasked with protecting the critically endangered mountain gorilla.

But it is located in DR Congo's North Kivu province, where armed groups are fighting for control of territorial and natural resources, and poaching is a major threat. At 10am on Friday, militiamen ambushed a jeep taking two Britons from a nearby city to the park.

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

Mr Mbiye, a father of five, told The Sunday Telegraph last night: "I was driving from Kibumba, heading to the volcano around 9am with a young British couple and a ranger when four heavily armed guys jumped on the road and started shooting in our direction".

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