First photos emerge of USA tourist after her release in Uganda

08 April, 2019, 07:44 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • American tourist and driver abducted in Uganda rescued

Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the East African nation's most popular wildlife reserves, runs along the border with conflict-wracked regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The abductors had been using Endicott's phone to negotiate her release and were in contact with authorities almost everyday, officials said.

Ugandan police announced on Sunday that they have rescued an American woman and her driver after the two were kidnapped last week while on safari.

"The duo are in good health & in the safe hands of the joint security team", Uganda Police confirmed via Twitter.

The Ugandan government and US media outlets have identified the woman as Kimberly Sue Endicott.

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

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A day after the incident, the abductors contacted the rescued tourists and demanded a ransom of United States dollars 500,000 (Shs 1.8bn).

A ransom was paid by touring company Wild Frontiers to free Endicott and her tour guide, a source with knowledge of the exchange told CNN on Sunday.

A Costa Mesa woman has been found alive days after she was kidnapped at a national park in Uganda, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The other tourists, an elderly couple, escaped, but the gunmen took Endicott and Remezo, said Uganda deputy police spokeswoman Polly Namaye.

President Donald Trump tweeted that the pair had been released and added, "God bless them and their families!"

Kidnappings in Uganda's protected areas are rare. It borders the famous Virunga national park, the oldest in Africa. Hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to the parks each year.

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