Ranger in Virunga, Africa's oldest national park, seriously wounded by grenade blast

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A ranger in Africa's oldest national park has been seriously wounded by a grenade during a confrontation with poachers.

Virunga National Park said in a statement Thursday that a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near Muhindo Kipasula a day earlier. Shrapnel damaged one of his eyes, and he received a concussion that may permanently damage his hearing.

The statement said the explosion happened when rangers made contact with poachers. Red Cross doctors are caring for Kipasula in the eastern Congolese city of Goma.

In April, Virunga's director, Emmanuel de Merode, was shot by unidentified gunmen. He has since returned to his post.

Virunga, in Congo, is home to about a quarter of the world's remaining mountain gorillas but is also under threat from poachers and armed militias that illegally log its trees.