Eight dead in wildlife park attack in eastern Congo

January 25, 2011 3:39:58 AM PST
Wildlife officials in volatile eastern Congo say eight people were killed in an attack on rangers working at the national park. Virunga National Park director Emmanuel de Merode says Monday's attack killed three park rangers and five Congolese soldiers. He says officials believe the attackers were Rwandan-led Hutu rebels who retaliated after rangers destroyed two of their camps in the park in December.

De Merode says three people were critically injured in the ambush, which he says is the worst attack in the park in more than a year. He says 130 park rangers have died since conflict sparked in eastern Congo in 1996 in the aftermath of neighboring Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Virunga National Park is home to an array of rare animals, including 200 of the world's 720 remaining mountain gorillas.