Two tourists killed in a “terrorist” attack on their vehicle in an African national park were newlyweds on their honeymoon, Uganda’s president has said.
The couple, a South African woman and a British man, and their Ugandan guide were driving through the Queen Elizabeth National Park on Tuesday when they were attacked and killed by a rebel group linked to the so-called Islamic State terror group.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said on social media: “It was a cowardly act on the part of the terrorists attacking innocent civilians and tragic for the couple who were newlyweds and visiting Uganda on their honeymoon. Of course, these terrorists will pay with their own wretched lives.”
Ugandan police and the president have said the killers were members of the Allied Democratic Forces, a group with ties to IS.
Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south west of Uganda is one of its most popular conservation areas and attacks in such parks are said to be uncommon.
The Ugandan troops are pursuing members of the group in nearby Congo.
In his social media post, the president added: “Killing these wretched individuals will not bring back the lives of these wonderful friends of Uganda who had chosen our country for their honeymoon out of the 193 countries of the world.
“Our High Commission in the UK will reach out to their families and provide whatever support is necessary in this tragic situation.”
He added Ugandan authorities will ensure these “mistakes” will not happen again and explained how remnants of the rebel group were able to carry out the attack at the wildlife park.
“There were a few gaps in the handling of these remnants. UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) was guarding tourists once they were in the park. However, apparently, the tourists were arriving and departing individually. It is this gap that they used,” he wrote on social media.
He said the rebels would be defeated like the Ugandan militant Joseph Kony, who terrorised the country under the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), recognised as a terrorist group by the European Union.
Following the incident, the UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice for Uganda, warning against “all but essential travel” to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A statement on its website said: “If you are currently in the Park, you should follow the advice of local security authorities. If you are able to do so safely, you should consider leaving the area.”
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