The Ugandan government says gunmen have abducted a female American tourist and her driver in a national park located near the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A statement from government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said four armed men kidnapped the tourist and her Ugandan driver inside Queen Elizabeth National Park early Tuesday evening.
Ugandan police have identified the tourist at Kimberly Sue Endecott, age 35, and the driver as Jean Paul. They say two other tourists who were held up by the gunmen but released alerted a park official to the kidnapping.
It says the kidnappers, using the victim's mobile phone, have demanded a ransom of $500,000. "We strongly believe this is the reason behind the kidnap," police said.
The statement said Ugandan security teams have cut off all border crossings between Uganda and Congo.
Queen Elizabeth Park is Uganda's most visited national park.