British Schoolchildren robbed by AK-47 and Machete-Wielding Gang in Tanzania.
Above Photo: A road that often saw armed holdups, in Kahama, Tanzania.
I was interested to read a report in the UK’s Daily Mail about a terrifying armed robbery in Tanzania, when British schoolchildren were held at gunpoint by masked robbers and struck with machetes during a recent roadside ambush. These ambushes are a frequent occurrence in some parts of the country, especially at night.
They used to frequently happen around our Nyangwale diamond mine in the Kahama district of Tanzania, near Lake Victoria, and often led to fatalities. It was one of the reasons my younger brother, John Lloyd, had a 24 hour armed guard while he worked heroically in the eye of a barely-believable storm out there; something I will soon chronicle in an account of our own sorry experiences in the diamond mining business in Tanzania.
I have edited the report on the school party holdup below.
Seven gunmen fired AK-47 assault rifles above the heads of 14 private school students aged between 15 and 18, some of whom were assaulted with machetes, and a tour guide was also stabbed in the back during a recent, terrifying 90-minute ordeal in the Tanzanian bush.
The eight boys and six girls – all boarders at Cranbrook School in Kent – were on an aid expedition to a school in Tanzania. They were travelling back from a visit to a game reserve when their truck was blocked by two lorries.
The party was being led by Angela Daly, a former head teacher, who said: ‘We heard rapid gunfire from outside. We didn’t know what was happening because we were sat down on mattresses – we couldn’t see over the sides of the truck.
‘Then a man wearing a balaclava climbed over the back with a machete. Seconds later another man came over with an AK-47.
‘Their English was limited but they said, “I kill you”.
They fired from within the truck above our heads, which temporarily deafened a number of the pupils.’
‘The park ranger who was with us was stabbed in the back. It was not a life-threatening wound but nonetheless serious.
‘They hit a number of us, the pupils and myself included. It was always with the flat of the blade on the thigh.’
She was accompanied by her husband George, 64, who was kicked in the head by the men during the ambush.
Mrs Daly said they feared for their lives. ‘All of us thought at some point they would kill us. It was a traumatic experience,’ she added.
The group was ordered to lie face-down, searched and told to hand over all of their money, which amounted to about £350. Mobiles, cameras and other property were also stolen.
Mrs Daly said the reaction of the pupils was ‘incredible’.
‘They remained completely calm and composed,’ she said.
‘How they behaved was exactly the right way. You don’t resist when someone is pointing a gun at you.
The party was held for 90 minutes and could hear further shots as the gang ransacked other vehicles held up at the roadblock.
The pupils were given the opportunity to fly home but decided to complete their month-long trip.
Tanzanian police have charged four men over the attack.
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