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U.S. woman kidnapped in Uganda park rescued, authorities say

Click to play video: 'U.S. woman, Ugandan driver rescued after kidnapping by gunmen in national park' U.S. woman, Ugandan driver rescued after kidnapping by gunmen in national park
WATCH: U.S. woman, Ugandan driver rescued after kidnapping by gunmen in national park – Apr 7, 2019

KAMPALA — An American tourist and her driver have been rescued unharmed after being kidnapped in a national park in southwestern Uganda last week, the Ugandan authorities said on Sunday.

READ MORE: Elderly Canadian couple safe after witnessing kidnapping of tourist in Uganda

Kimberley Sue Endecott, 35, was abducted by gunmen in Queen Elizabeth National Park, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 4. The kidnappers later demanded a ransom of $500,000 for her release.

“She has been located and rescued unharmed,” Uganda military spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire told Reuters, referring to the tourist.

 

A Canadian couple was present during the kidnapping but were unharmed, Global Affairs Canada confirmed this week.

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Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in a tweet that driver Jean Paul had also been rescued from Congo and that the kidnappers had escaped.

WATCH: Vernon, B.C.,  man worries for parents who witnessed kidnapping in Uganda

Click to play video: 'Vernon man worries for parents who witnessed kidnapping in Uganda' Vernon man worries for parents who witnessed kidnapping in Uganda
Vernon man worries for parents who witnessed kidnapping in Uganda – Apr 6, 2019

The gunmen’s identity is unclear but the area where the abduction took place was once roamed by fighters belonging to an anti-Kampala rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is now mostly dormant. The group is still believed to have camps in eastern Congo.

Abductions and related attacks on tourists are rare in Uganda and the last such incident occurred in 1999.

READ MORE: B.C. couple escape armed kidnapping while on safari in Uganda

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Then, an American couple, four Britons and two New Zealanders were killed along with four Ugandan guides after being ambushed by gunmen in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a few kilometres south of the Queen Elizabeth park. Survivors said the killers appeared to be Congo-based Hutu rebels.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of most visited in the East African country, with tourists flocking there to see lions, hippos, crocodiles and various types of antelope.

WATCH: B.C. couple escapes armed kidnapping in Uganda unharmed

Click to play video: 'B.C. couple escapes armed kidnapping in Uganda unharmed' B.C. couple escapes armed kidnapping in Uganda unharmed
B.C. couple escapes armed kidnapping in Uganda unharmed – Apr 6, 2019

With a file from Global News

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