/American tourist and guide kidnapped at gunpoint on safari in Uganda, hostage takers demand $500,000

American tourist and guide kidnapped at gunpoint on safari in Uganda, hostage takers demand $500,000

An American tourist has been kidnapped by gunmen at a wildlife park in Uganda, local police have confirmed.

Kimbley Sue Endecott, 35, and her Ugandan guide Jean Paul went missing when four gunmen ambushed them on Tuesday evening. The American has been named as “Kimbley” by local police, but “Kimberley” by global outlets such as Reuters

They were driving between the Katoke gate and Wilderness Camp at Queen Elizabeth National Park when kidnappers ambushed and held them at gunpoint.

Two other tourists, Martin Julius and his wife Barbel, were rescued after they contacted the camp manager.

The suspected kidnappers used one of the victims’ phones to demand $500,000. Police are treating the demand as a ransom.

Police are hunting for four men in relation to the incident. Officials say they have closed all exits between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders the park.

“We strongly believe the perpetrators and victims could still be trapped within our search area, and we are hopeful that our efforts will lead to their successful recovery,” Polly Namaye, deputy spokesperson with the Uganda Police Force, said in a statement. “We want to further reassure the public that this is the first… incident of this kind registered in such a very peaceful setting, and those planning to visit the National Park and its surroundings should not be discouraged.”

The American Embassy has been alerted.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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