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Kidnapped US woman, driver freed: Uganda police

In this photo from April 4, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures while speaking during a news conference at the US State Department in Washington. Pompeo said at a Tuesday event for families of U.S. citizens held captive overseas that he understands some people want to do anything to get their loved ones back but paying ransom would just lead to more kidnappings. | AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan police said on Sunday they had rescued an American woman and her driver who had been kidnapped by gunmen in a national park.

The two “are in good health” and “in the safe hands” of security officials, police said in a Twitter update.

Authorities gave no more details.

RELATED: American woman kidnapped in Uganda; $500K ransom demanded

Ugandan security teams had been hunting down gunmen who had demanded a $500,000 ransom after kidnapping the American, Kim Endicott, and her Ugandan guide in a national park popular with tourists.

They were ambushed on April 2 in Queen Elizabeth National Park, a protected area near the porous border with Congo, according to Ugandan authorities.

It remains unclear if a ransom was paid in the case of Endicott, who is from Costa Mesa, California, where she has a small skin care shop.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said at a Tuesday event for families of U.S. citizens held captive overseas that he understands some people want to do anything to get their loved ones back but paying ransom would just lead to more kidnappings.

In a Friday statement the State Department said that the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad is its highest priority.

“Whenever a U.S. citizen is taken captive abroad, we work tirelessly – in partnership with local authorities – to secure their release and get them home safely,” the statement said.