American tourist and driver abducted in Uganda rescued

Posted at 1:57 PM, Apr 07, 2019

An American tourist and her tour guide, who were abducted in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park on Tuesday, have been rescued by security forces, a Ugandan government spokesperson said Sunday.

“Both were rescued from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are safely back in Kanungu district in Uganda,” said Ofwono Opondo. “They are back at the lodge and she is expected to be in Kampala tomorrow.”

Opondo said the kidnappers fled the scene of the rescue when law enforcement officers and soldiers moved in.

Ugandan police had said Thursday that an armed gang kidnapped the American tourist and her driver at gunpoint from the national park and had made frequent demands for a $500,000 ransom.

“They (the abductors) continue to use cell phones of the victims to call the lodge (where) they were staying asking for $500,000 ransom, which we will not offer,” Ugandan police spokeswoman Polly Namaye said.

The two were kidnapped at gunpoint while on a game drive on Tuesday evening, the Ugandan Tourism Board and Ugandan police said in a statement.

The American citizen was abducted alongside four people, but the other four were freed while she and her driver were taken from the park, officials said.