Gunmen rob 17 foreign tourists in Hai, Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, July 25 (Xinhua) -- A group of gunmen on Thursday dawn stormed into a tourist lodge in Tanzania's northern town of Hai and robbed 17 foreign tourists, police said on Friday.

The tourists were from the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the Kilimanjaro regional police commander Robert Boaz told a news conference. The robbery happened in a tented lodge at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

He said four of the tourists were slightly injured by the gunmen when they tried to resist but they were
in good condition.

"The gunmen took away 3,200 U.S. dollars, 110 British pounds, 5. 4 million Tanzanian shillings, a video camera and six other cameras," said Boaz.

He said the gunmen ambushed the lodge at 3.30 am on Thursday and ordered the tourists to stay in one tent before they started combing the other tents and picking everything that they thought was valuable.

"We have already launched a manhunt for the gunmen and the stolen money and cameras," said the police commander.

Tanzania's tourism sector contributes approximately 15 percent to its GDP and brings in foreign currency worth 1.5 billion U.S. dollars per year. It also provides more than 1.2 million employment opportunities.