Congo authorities continue search for kidnapped British tourists

Kidnapping Two British citizens have been kidnapped while visiting the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Unidentified attackers on Friday killed a guard and kidnapped three people, including two British tourists, in DR Congo's Virunga national park, a famed haven for gorillas and other endangered species, authorities said.

According to officials at the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICC), which is in charge of managing the park, the two tourists were kidnapped while returning to the city of Goma accompanied by park wardens.

"For the moment the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation can not communicate much about the incident because the hostages are still in captivity. That would put their lives in danger".

The rising death toll has earned the park, which is a Unesco world heritage site, a reputation as one of the most risky conservation projects on the planet.

Established in 1925, it is home to about a quarter of the world's population of critically endangered mountain gorillas, as well as to eastern lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, okapis, lions, elephants and hippos.

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In an interview with National Geographic past year, Virunga National Park Director Emmanuel de Merode said three main groups are responsible for the violence in the park.

The park has experienced an increase in violence in recent months.

The park reportedly witnessed multiple kidnappings over the past two months, attributed to Mai-Mai militia.

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".

A week earlier a park ranger died in an attack by armed men as he guarded the construction site of a hydroelectric plant.

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