[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
Tanzania girl's 'extreme pain'
Grace Forster
Grace Forster was shot in her left side during the attack
A teenager shot when her diving group was attacked by bandits in Tanzania has spoken of her terror and extreme pain.

Grace Forster, 18, from Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, and Robert Scott, 20, from Bristol, were hit by the same bullet when their group was attacked.

They were on a trip to Pemba Island with conservation group Frontier.

"I heard a gun shot and felt an extreme amount of pain in my back - the worst pain I have ever felt," said Miss Forster, speaking from Dar es Salaam.

The bullet passed millimetres from her spine.

Miss Forster said: "A split second later I felt it again when it went out of me and immediately Rob jumped up when it hit him."

'I was terrified'

Despite bleeding heavily, Miss Forster and the others in her group were forced to get down on the floor by the gang, armed with guns and machetes.

"They kept shouting 'if you want to keep your lives sleep' so that we would get down on the floor.

"I was terrified but in that situation you cannot afford to be terrorised.

"Someone rushed over to me and shouted we need medicine. The man threw him to the floor and no-one was allowed to assist me."

She said she had buried her sister's expensive computer diving watch in the sand to thwart the bandits.

The 25-strong group now plan to meet Frontier representatives to demand their money back.

Parents' concern

Miss Forster's father, Ian, who owns a diving centre, and Paul Nichol of Bury St Edmunds, whose daughter Sarah, 20, was also in the group, have attacked Frontier for giving parents little or not information about the attack.

They also complained that no mention had been made about an attack on Pemba in February.

However, William Hedley Miller of Frontier, said they believed they had taken the necessary safety precautions.

"The security arrangements were utterly satisfactory in our opinion. A very unfortunate and unforeseeable event happened which we couldn't have anticipated."

Interviewed on BBC Look East, he did admit that an emergency telephone number in Dar es Salaam had been faulty, and said managers were "not particularly pleased" about it.

Frontier has pulled out of its conservation project on Pemba and is reviewing security for future expeditions.

Neal Hammond, of the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam, confirmed there had been other attacks at lodges along the Tanzanian coastline.

Tanzania's British High Commissioner, Dr Andrew Pocock, said on Monday: "I would have thought in the circumstances something would need to be done on the security side, both to reassure the rest of the party and to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

Tanzanian police have arrested two local men in the town of Tanga for questioning in connection with Friday's shootings.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Emma Howard
"It was supposed to be the start of an idyllic gap year"



SEE ALSO:
Alert after Africa pirate attack
05 Jul 04  |  England


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific