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British nationals taken hostage in eastern Congo park – park service (updt)

A park ranger was killed and two British citizens were kidnapped on Friday in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, a park service official and a local civil society leader said.

Unidentified armed men ambushed the group in the morning near the village of Kibati just north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, said Mambo Kawaya, who heads a group of local civil society organisations.

The Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) confirmed that one of its rangers was killed in the incident and that two British nationals were among three people abducted.

“For the moment the (ICCN) cannot communicate much about the incident because the hostages are still in captivity. That would put their lives in danger,” Joel Wenga, the ICCN’s head of communications in North Kivu told Reuters.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it was in contact with the Congolese authorities “following an incident involving two British nationals” and said its staff were providing support to their families.

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