In The Deadliest Attack In Recent History, 12 Rangers Among 18 Killed In Ambush In Democratic Republic Of The Congo’s Virunga National Park

It is with great sadness that Virunga National Park confirms today, April 24th, that there has been a deadly attack by armed groups near Rumangabo village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has resulted in substantial loss of life. The tragic deaths include civilians, Virunga employees, and Virunga Park Rangers.

According to WAN’s source, at least 12 rangers were killed, along with two drivers, and four civilians by militia that ambushed a convoy of civilians that was being protected by rangers.

According to BBC, another six people were injured in the attack blamed on militiamen from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), whose leaders have been accused of links to the 1994 genocide in which approximately 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

“At this time, all available information indicates that this was an attack on the local civilian population. Virunga Park Rangers were not the target of the assault, but lost their lives responding to the attack in defense of the local community,” noted a statement on the park’s website. “This is a devastating day for Virunga National Park and the surrounding communities.”

“We will not be releasing further information regarding the identities of those that have sadly lost their lives until their families have been informed and we have confirmed the specific details regarding the attack,” the statement continued.

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet, home to the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.

WAN is heartbroken over the senseless loss of life that occurred today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims, as well as the injured, some of whom are still fighting for their lives. May God Bless them all.

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