(CNN) – American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her guide, Who were kidnapped on Tuesday On Sunday, a Ugandan government spokesman said they were rescued by security forces in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.
“They were rescued in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and they were safe in the Nungu district of Uganda,” said Ofono Uppundo. “They are back at the shelter and you are expected to be in Kampala tomorrow.”
Upondu said the kidnappers fled the rescue site when police and soldiers arrived.
Ugandan police said Thursday that an armed group kidnapped Endicott and his driver at gunpoint in the national park and demanded a ransom of $ 500,000. Police said they would not hand over the money.
A source familiar with the exchange told CNN on Sunday that a ransom was paid to free Endicott and his guide. The source said the handover was “quiet and peaceful.”
A spokeswoman for Wild Frontiers Uganda, the company Endicott she was traveling with, said neither she nor her tour guide was injured. The spokesman said the identities of the alleged kidnappers have not been released.
The Uganda Tourism Authority and Ugandan Police said in a statement that the two were kidnapped at gunpoint on a safari on Tuesday night.
Authorities said four other people were taken at the same time, but released while Endicott and his driver were pulled from the park.
The US State Department said it was aware of the rescue plan.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman told CNN: “We are aware of reports that Ugandan security officials rescued an American hostage on April 7.” “Privacy considerations prevent us from providing further comments at this time.”
A US defense official told CNN that the US military has provided support to the Ugandan security forces. The support includes intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets and liaison officers, the official said.
US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday afternoon that he was “pleased to report” the release of the two.
“God bless them and their families,” Trump said on Twitter.
Hillary McGann, Shamson Natalie, Boca Adebayo, Robin Creel, Ryan Brown and Anna Cardophiles of CNN contributed to this report.
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