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Dec 7, 2004

Tourists escape bullets in Stann Ck. Valley…

No arrests have been made following a dramatic shooting incident on the Hummingbird Highway in late November. According to a traumatised U.S. couple, just after ten on the morning of Saturday, November twenty-seventh, they were heading to the airport after vacationing in Placencia but when they stopped at a speed bump between miles 19 and 20, two armed men dressed in camouflage gear and brandishing assault rifles, jumped out of the bushes. One bandit pointed his gun at the driver’s head and tried to open the door while the second jumped onto the vehicle’s rear bumper. Fearing for their lives, the couple hit the gas, which left both gunmen in their wake. Their prey escaping, the duo opened fire and shot out a back tyre, the spare tyre and left bullet holes in the backseat of the vehicle. Fortunately, the pickup was able to limp to Middlesex where villagers helped them on their way. At the scene, Dangriga police later recovered six expended shells, believed to be from a seven point six three rifle. Authorities tell News 5 that while the incident remains under investigation, no one has been arrested for the crime. Although not reported locally by the police press office, the victims’ account of the attack was posted on a tourism website, The daring daylight attack on Saturday on the Hummingbird Highway brings back memories of another Saturday: May second 1998 just three miles south of the capital. The incident left one man, BDF volunteer Genario Che, dead, and hundreds of Belizeans at the mercy of a cold-blooded gang of heavily armed bandits, believed to be from Guatemala. Thousands of dollars in cash and jewellery were stolen. A shootout with police left Belizean officers wounded and one robber dead but all the others escaped, presumably across the border.

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