An American tourist who was kidnapped with her driver in a national park in southwestern Uganda has been rescued unharmed, Ugandan police announced Sunday.
Kimberley Sue Endicott, 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 R7 million for her release. Authorities didn't confirm whether any or all of the ransom had been paid, but The New York Times reported that the safari company they were traveling with paid it.
"She has been located and rescued unharmed," Uganda military spokesman, Brigadier Richard Karemire told Reuters. Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in a tweet that the driver had also been rescued.
The driver, who was with Endicott on the Tuesday evening safari drive, is Congolese national Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo, according to ABC News.
The Uganda Media Centre said Wednesday that four armed men kidnapped a woman and a Ugandan driver in park and that officials were conducting a search and rescue operation.
After the two were held at gunpoint, they were taken back to a lodge at the park, a Wild Frontiers Uganda safari operation spokesperson told ABC News.
The Ugandan government tweeted Sunday to celebrate the rescue, thanking all security forces involved in the mission. It's unclear what agencies participated.
Security services have this evening managed to rescue kidnapped U.S. citizen Kimberly Sue Endicott and her driver Jean Paul Mirenge. Appreciation goes to @PoliceUg and sister security agencies that led the operation to return Sue and Jean Paul.
The park is one of the country's hottest tourist destinations, spreading over 760 square miles and hosting more than 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species.
Ugandan police said in a press release that this is "the first incident of its kind" in the park and that safety measures have been put in place for local residents and visitors.
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