Eighteen gorilla sanctuary workers have been kidnapped by a militia group in the violence-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a report of the BBC news on Thursday.
The employees -- including nine guards -- were taken by an armed group called the Mai-Mai Raia Mutomboki on Monday, an official told.
They had been conducting an inventory in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a huge expanse of rainforest named for the two extinct volcanoes which lie in its borders and is home to an estimated 250 lowland gorillas, as well as other rare species.
Kashombana Bin-Saleh, administrator of Shabunda territory, told AFP they were all still alive, and negotiations were due to begin for their release.
But local civil societies groups said the militia were demanding a huge ransom.
UNi XC-SNU 1446
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0442-1279219.Xml