The Washington Post

Six rangers killed in attack at Virunga park


Gunmen killed at least six rangers in Virunga National Park, the latest attack in the part of eastern Congo that is home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas, officials said Sunday.

The violence occurred Sunday in Nyamitwitw­i, located in the Rutshuru area of the park, said a spokesman for the Congolese Institute for the Conservati­on of Nature.

There was no immediate claim of responsibi­lity, though past attacks on Virunga park rangers have been blamed on groups vying for control of eastern Congo’s natural resources. Among those rebel groups is the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known by its French initials FDLR, an ethnic Hutu group opposed to the government of neighborin­g Rwanda and one of the last factions of Rwandan rebels active in Congo.

In April, an ambush near Virunga National Park killed 12 rangers and five civilians and critically injured several others.

More than 200 rangers have been killed since Virunga became a national park in 1925, according to officials.

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