Uganda police say kidnapped U.S. woman and driver are freed

Posted April 08, 2019

An American tourist and her Ugandan driver were kidnapped at gunpoint in Uganda's most known national park, Queen Elizabeth National Park on Tuesday.

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

An American tourist and her tour guide, who were abducted in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 2, have been rescued by security forces, a government spokesperson has confirmed.

The two are being interviewed by police and their kidnappers are on the run.

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"Today Monday, 8th/04/ 2019, the IGP, will hand over Ms. Kimberley Sue Endicott, the American tourist who was rescued yesterday, Sunday 7th/ 04/ 2019, to Her Excellency, the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, at the American Embassy in Kampala", police tweeted.

A U.S. defense official told CNN that the USA military had provided support to Ugandan security forces. One official with the safari company, Wild Frontiers, who asked not to be named, said the two were now "enjoying a square meal and hot shower" at a wilderness camp in Uganda run by the company. The support included intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets and liaison officers, the official said.

"Otherwise she wouldn't be back", he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Endicott and the guide were taken back to a lodge at the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

It remains unclear if a ransom was paid in the case of Endicott, who is from Costa Mesa, California, where she has a small skin care shop.

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The handover was "quiet and peaceful", the source added.

Endicott's kidnappers are at large and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said the country's security forces "shall deal with these isolated pockets of criminals".

US President Donald Trump also tweeted about the rescue: "Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released".

The State Department said it was aware of the rescue.

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The Ugandan government and USA media outlets have identified the woman as Kimberly Sue Endicott.