Wednesday, March 3, 1999 Published at 01:16 GMT
Uganda tourists 'butchered'
A guide at the start of a trail on the Uganda-Rwanda border
The eight Western tourists killed in Uganda were killed by their captors in cold blood, according to a survivor.
He said those killed were murdered after being forced to march through the rainforest for a day by a gang of Rwandan rebels.
Ugandan officials confirmed four Britons, two New Zealanders and two Americans were among the dead.
The bodies, now awaiting identification in Kampala, are covered in machete wounds.
The tourists were killed after about 150 armed rebels attacked their camps in the Bwindi National Park early on Monday. They had travelled to the remote jungle area in the southwest of the country to see a species of rare mountain gorilla.
The victims include four women and four men. Five have been named so far
'Attempt to destabilise Rwanda'
The abduction was blamed on Rwandan Hutu rebels - Interahamwe - based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was earlier thought that the hostages might have died in a botched rescue attempt by Ugandan security forces tracking through the jungle to find the kidnappers.
Asked if any of the tourists had seen the killings, he said: ''No, if you saw it you were dead.''
The Rwandan rebels told him the idea of the attack was to destabilise Uganda and let the world know there was a war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He did not know why some hostages were killed and others released. But contrary to other reports, he did not think the guerrillas had targeted Americans and Britons.
Britons singled out
However, an American tourist who escaped said British hostages had been tortured by the rebels.
Linda Adams fled after faking an asthma attack as she was marched into the jungle.
She said that at least one British man had been beaten by his captors and that the British people had been ''treated quite badly".
He said five of the bodies were found at the site of the gun battle and three were found nearby.
UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said Britain had told Uganda it did not want any intervention that might put lives at risk.
In December, four Western tourists held hostage in Yemen died during a rescue attempt by Yemeni forces.
Diplomats have been arriving at the national park - also known as the Impenetrable Forest - where the group was taken hostage.
Seven of the tourists rounded up on Monday were released on the same day, including France's Deputy Ambassador to Uganda, Anne Peltier, who negotiated the release of all the French tourists and some Australians.
She said firing had started around the tent where people were sleeping.
Twelve tourists escaped the kidnappers by fleeing into the jungle and arrived later in Kampala.
The Hutu rebels - the Interahamwe - fled Rwanda after they took part in the 1994 genocide of more than 500,000 Tutsis.
Last August they abducted a number of foreign tourists who were on a mountain trek in Congo. All but one are still in captivity.
UK-based travel firm Abercrombie and Kent, which ran a campsite where several of the tourists in the latest incident had been staying, said security was mostly left to local park wardens.
Bwindi National Park, covering 331 sq km, is home to an estimated 300 mountain gorillas - half the entire global population.