American tourist shot in South Africa

July 1, 2010 12:00 am

, JOHANNESBURG, Jul  1 – An American backpacker was shot and wounded in an armed robbery after arriving in Johannesburg on Wednesday, South African police said.

"He was approached by four men in a vehicle. They robbed him of his belongings and assaulted him," national police spokeswoman Sally de Beer said Thursday.

The tourist, who told police he was not in South Africa for the World Cup, was walking along a street looking for a hotel when he was attacked at about 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Wednesday, she said.

"He went to a house, where people phoned for an ambulance. The paramedics, who examined him found that he had a gun shot just under his right arm. He is in hospital, but he is out of danger, in a stable condition, he is recovering," she said.

He was the first foreign tourist wounded during a criminal act since the World Cup opened on June 11.

Crime has been a main worry during the World Cup, with South Africa suffering one of the world\’s highest crime rates, with an average 50 murders a day.

South Africa has spent 1.3 billion rands (169 million dollars, 130 million euros) on security for the 300,000 foreign fans expected at the tournament, with 44,000 new police recruited for the games.

So far the most serious crimes have been two armed robberies of foreign journalists covering the event.

National police chief Bheki Cele on Tuesday praised the performance of the security forces, saying 316 people had been arrested during the World Cup, mainly for thefts.


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