Armed gang attack tourists on safari in Kenya

Two Japanese tourists were wounded and three others were robbed along with two South Africans when armed bandits hijacked a pair of safari vans in Kenya’s famed Maasai Mara game reserve, police said on Tuesday.

Transmara deputy police commander Patrick Mwakio said the seven bandits armed with a rifle, clubs and machetes attacked the tourists on Monday evening as they were returning to their lodges in two vehicles from a late afternoon game drive.

“Two were wounded and others robbed of dollars, wallets, cameras, passports and other personal effects,” said Mwakio from district headquarters in Kilgoris, about 220km west of the capital Nairobi.

The two injured tourists were among a group of five Japanese visitors in one of the vehicles, he said, adding that the South Africans in the other vehicle were robbed and threatened by the gang but were not injured.

Mwakio could not say if the injuries were serious but said the authorities had sent additional security officers to the area where the incident happened on the western edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

He said officers from the general service unit, a paramilitary wing of the Kenyan police, game rangers and regular police had been sent to track down the gang who struck at the height of Kenya’s wildlife tourism season.

The sprawling Maasai Mara, which stretches across Kenya’s southwestern border with Tanzania, is world-famous for the annual migration of wildebeest which is now under way.
- Sapa-AFP

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