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Rangers killed in attack near Congo park known for gorillas

Several people, including rangers, were killed in an attack on civilians near Congo's Virunga National Park on Friday, said the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN).

Several people, including rangers, were killed in an attack on civilians near Congo‘s Virunga National Park on Friday, said the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN).

Park rangers and staff were killed while trying to assist a civilian vehicle that was the target of the assailants’ fire, the institute said.

Bystanders were also victims of the attack, it said, adding that no further information would be made available to the media until the families of victims had been notified about the deaths.

According to Jonas Pandasi, a local civil society leader, at least nine rangers and two civilians were killed. He blamed the Rwandan Hutu militia FDLR, which is active in the region, for the attack.

Virunga National Park, on the border to Uganda and Rwanda, is famous for its mountain gorillas, which can be found only in the region.

The park and its rangers are threatened by militias and poachers on a consistent basis. Several militias are active in eastern Congo, whose main concern is maintaining control over valuable mineral resources.

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