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Congo Attack: US Journalist Found Alive, 5 Park Rangers Killed

Image: Congo Attack: US Journalist Found Alive, 5 Park Rangers Killed

Rangers walk across a marsh carrying their weapons as they prepare for deployment in the Garamba National Park in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on February 6, 2016. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 17 Jul 2017 11:36 AM

In Congo, a U.S. journalist was found alive and five park rangers killed in a rescue mission after the journalist and three rangers went missing in a wildlife reserve.

Gunmen attacked the group the journalist was with late Friday at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Mambasa territory, Reuters reported. Two Dutch reporters and some others in the group managed to escape the initial attack.

The American journalist was identified by Agence France-Presse as freelancer Lisa Dupuy. Dupuy and 11 park wardens were reportedly taken by the Mai-Mai Simba militia group. Dupuy was found safe by Congo government troops about 3 a.m. Sunday, AFP said.

A U.S. State Department official acknowledged the report about Dupuy but declined further comment, according to AFP.

"We are aware of reports that the U.S. citizen reported kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been found safe," the official told the news service. "The US Department of State has no higher priority than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas."

Pacifique Keta, vice governor of Ituri province, told AFP that the military operation at the reserve was ongoing.

"However, four of our wardens and a civilian who was working as a tracker were killed in clashes," an official from the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature told AFP. "The army also killed bandits, but I don't know how many."

Reuters reported that the Eastern Congo has been the site for numerous wars and uprisings during the past two decades. Officials told the news service that rebels, militia fighters, and bandits still populate the area and remain a constant security risk.

Park rangers have been involved in an ongoing battle to protect shrinking elephant and gorilla populations from poachers and other armed groups attempting to capitalize on the area's minerals, wildlife, and other resources, Reuters said.

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In Congo, a U.S. journalist was found alive and five park rangers killed in a rescue mission after the journalist and three rangers went missing in a wildlife reserve.
congo, us, journalist, attack
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2017-36-17
Monday, 17 Jul 2017 11:36 AM
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