At least 17 people, including 12 rangers were killed Friday in an attack in Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an official said.
It was one of the deadliest attacks in the park, Africa’s oldest and most biologically diverse protected area.
Besides the 12 park rangers, a driver and four other civilians were killed in the attack in Goma, for which no person or group has claimed responsibility, the governor of the Nord Kivu province said in a statement.
“Others were injured, including some who are fighting for their lives,” the park management added in another a statement. It said that civilians were the apparent target of the attack.
The guards were killed “while coming to help a civilian vehicle which had come under fire by the assailants,” the statement said.