DRC: Six park rangers killed in attack at Virunga wildlife sanctuary

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Five park rangers and a driver were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday, during an ambush at Virunga National Park.

A sixth ranger was also injured in the attack in the central section of the wildlife reserve, which is home to one of the world’s largest mountain gorilla populations. The six deaths mark the worst death toll during a single attack at the reserve where more than 170 rangers have died protecting animals over the last 20 years.

Six killed in latest Virunga ambush

Virunga National Park has a reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous conservation sites in the world following a spate of attacks over the past two decades. Last August, five rangers were killed when a militia group ambushed their post in the northern part of the reserve nearby Lake Edward.

“This is not an easy profession,” deputy director of Virunga National Park, Innocent Mburanumwe, told the Guardian earlier this year. “Losing your friends and colleagues is very painful. But we chose to do this, and we know the risks,” he said.

“Every day when the patrols set out, we know that they may come under fire. We know we may lose someone or we may be killed ourselves.”

Featured image: By Cai Tjeenk Willink – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15896821

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.