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A park ranger killed by the kidnappers has been named as Rachel Masika Baraka.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leaves the Foreign Office in Westminster, London, Britain, April 26, 2018.

"I paid tribute to the DRC authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their tireless help during this awful case", said the statement.

Two British tourists kidnapped in Congo's Virunga National Park have been released, according the UK Foreign Office.

They were among three people abducted by unidentified armed men while reportedly visiting Virunga National Park, a renowned gorilla sanctuary in the east of the country.

Wildlife authorities have tried to protect it but 170 rangers have been killed over the last 20 years, he added.

Virunga Park director, Emmanuel de Merode, said: "We are deeply saddened by the death of Virunga National Park Ranger Baraka, whose life was tragically cut short while protecting the passengers and driver".

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Their vehicle was ambushed north of the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, on Friday.

They said she was taken to hospital for treatment but died from her injuries.

He said: "We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident".

The park has seen rising violence in recent months as armed groups stage raids to steal resources, particularly charcoal.

Covering some 7,800 square kilometers (3,011 miles), the Virunga national park is one of the most important conservation sites in the world.

Established in 1925, Virunga is home to about a quarter of the world's population of critically endangered mountain gorillas, as well as to eastern lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, okapis, lions, elephants and hippos.

Together they have made the park the most risky in the world for rangers and conservationists to work in, with some 170 wildlife rangers killed there in the past 20 years, including five who were murdered along with their driver after an ambush last month.


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