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Two arrested as police hunt for kidnappers of US tourist Kimberly

Jean and Kimberly

Kanungu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Two men have been arrested and are in custody as Uganda’s security continues the hunt for the four kidnappers of US tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott at Queen Elizabeth Park last week.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed to URN that there were some arrests made in regard to the kidnap. He, however, declined to divulge details.

“The joint security team actively investigating the kidnapping incident and successful recovery has made some arrests of suspects, on suspicion of being involved in their kidnap.. .I can confirm that there were some arrests but I am yet to get details.  I will brief you when I get the information,” Enanga said.

He added that “the intelligence led operation which was calculated and tactical, in the early stages is now progressing unhindered, with raids and extensive searches in Kanungu district, where the suspects were arrested and the neighboring areas.”

Uganda Radio Network has since learnt that two of four gunmen suspected to have been involved, have been apprehended. The two were only identified as Hakim and Kwarishiima.

Sources said the suspects were flown from Kanungu district where they were tracked using a device which was placed in the ransom money they received before setting Endicott and his guide Jean Paul Mirenge free on Sunday.

Endicott and Mirenge were kidnapped by four gunmen, who hijacked their safari vehicle from Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 4.

The gunmen demanded a ransom of $500,000 using their victims’ cell phones. Sources told URN on Monday that the kidnappers instead received a negotiated sum of $30,000 (about 100 million Shillings) out of $500,000 (1.8b) they had earlier demanded to free Endicott and Mirenge.

Endicott was handed over to the US Embassy in Kampala by Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola on Monday.

US President Donald Trump on Monday tasked Uganda government to arrest the kidnappers before people can feel safe to come to Uganda.

“Uganda must find the kidnappers of the American Tourist and guide before people will feel safe in going there,” Trump tweeted. “Bring them to justice openly and quickly!”

After the release of the tourists, Uganda police said they were rescued from the Democratic Republic of Congo by a joint effort involving the Uganda Police, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF and sister security agencies.

Reports indicate that the US military provided support to Ugandan security forces to accomplish the mission. The support included intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets and liaison officers, according to US news outlets.

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