US tourist kidnapped in Uganda for USD 500K ransom

She was on a game drive with her driver in Queen Elizabeth National Park when four gunmen ambushed the vehicle

Police identified the American as a 35-year-old woman, and said the kidnappers had later used her mobile telephone to demand a ransom of $500,000 (445,000 euros) for the release of the pair.

Army spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire said security forces were doing all they could to track down the gunmen. A source in Kihihi town, Kanungu district says dogs had led the searching forces to the border.

"I suspect the kidnappers left them because they were elderly". Another option is following a route North of Ishasha heading to Rukungiri district because the network of the phone could be showing they are still in Uganda. They managed to raise the alarm from the lodge where they were staying. The attack took place between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm (1500-1600GMT) on Tuesday, police said.

"We strongly believe that this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap", Uganda Deputy Police Spokeswoman Polly Namaye said.

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A neighbouring country to Uganda is being implicated in the kidnap of American tourist, Ms Kimbley Sue Endecoff and his drive, a senior game guide Jean Paul Milenge Romezo who were picked at a gun point adjacent to Katoke gate in Queen Elizabeth national park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the East African nation's most popular wildlife reserves, runs along the frontier with conflict-wracked regions of DRC.

Earlier there were reports linking kidnappers to the rebel group of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) operating with in the Eastern part of Congo. Sign up here for our free Daily Updates. The park, known for its endangered mountain gorillas, was closed to tourists following the incident and reopened in February.

They are hoping the gunmen do not cross into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which is just 18 kilometers from the kidnap scene and stretches into Congo. In 1999, Rwandan rebels killed eight foreign tourists there, inflicting an enormous blow to Uganda's tourist industry. Tourism is Uganda's biggest earner of foreign currency, and authorities estimate the industry's earnings jumped by about a fifth a year ago to $1.7 billion after a visit by musician and fashion designer Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian West.

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