U.S. cautions its citizens as Ugandan authorities mount search for kidnapped tourist


"Four armed men, not yet identified, between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm (1400-1600GMT), staged an ambush and kidnapped an American tourist with his Ugandan driver near Katoke Gate in the Queen Elizabeth National Park", Opondo said in a statement.

Ugandan security forces are searching for an American tourist, her driver and the four gunmen who abducted them inside a national park on Tuesday.

Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. The kidnappers were four unidentified gunmen who requested $500,000 in ransom money using Endecott's phone.

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"The kidnappers, using the victim's phone have demanded 500,000 Dollars", police said, adding "we strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap". A day later, soldiers have fanned out along the porous border with the DRC, but as night fell, police said they believe the pair remain in the country.

A State Department spokesman said US officials are aware of reports of the kidnapping. "We can not accept that risk", Pompeo said. The drones were hovering over the area to see if they could locate the kidnappers and the American tourist with her driver.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. "Local security forces are responding to the incident".

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"We have armed ranger guides, if you're going out on a drive in the park you're supposed to have one but these tourists went out on their own without a guard", Bashir Hangi, spokesman for the state-run Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), told Reuters. "Their vehicle was left parked and the kidnappers went away with the key". Uganda is home to over half of the world's endangered mountain gorillas.

The country earned US$1.37 billion in 2016 from tourism, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

Police say they've also completely cut off any access to the Congolese border.

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"Maybe we need to appreciate the fact that these people did not have a ranger guide, the time they went for a game drive".