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Kidnapped British, Aussie tourists rescued in Ecuador
QUITO: Ecuadoran authorities said Saturday they had rescued two women tourists, one from Britain and another from Australia, who were kidnapped a day earlier near the Colombian border.
Police and armed forces staff “located and rescued the two girls, Australian and English, kidnapped in Cuyabeno,” Interior Minister Jose Serrano said on Twitter.
Kidnappings are common among Colombian gangs.
The women, who were not immediately identified, were abducted while visiting the Cuyabeno nature reserve in the Tarapoa region, in Sucumbios province, officials said.
They were traveling in a canoe as part of a group of seven tourists — five foreigners and two Ecuadorans — and two local Ecuadorans working as guides.
Australia’s foreign ministry said its embassy in Chile was “working urgently with Canadian and British authorities in Ecuador to obtain more information,” and officials were also in contact with the woman’s family.
“Our travel advice for Ecuador recommends that Australians do not travel to the border area of Sucumbios in northeastern Ecuador bordering Colombia and Peru as there is a very high threat of violent criminal activity in this area,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP.
Ecuador’s environment ministry had reported the assault Friday, but said nothing of a kidnapping.
It quoted local people as saying that three members of a Colombian gang of ex-paramilitary fighters known as the Black Eagles were behind the abduction. -- AFP