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Australian tourists taken hostage … briefly by Chinese man

Posted by jtsmyth8 on March 7, 2008

Australian tourists briefly held hostage in China by a lone man armed with explosives on Thursday told of their ordeal as Canberra urged holidaymakers to heed travel warnings ahead of the Beijing Olympics.The man attacked a group of 10 Australian travel agents visiting the northwest city of Xi’an, famed as home of the Terracotta Warriors, on Wednesday before he was shot dead by a police sniper.

‘He was pacing up and down the bus, they couldn’t understand what he was saying. Then he turned around, opened up his jacket and he had a bomb strapped to him,’ said Sue Wynne, a friend of hostage Rhiannon Dunkley, after speaking to her.

Nine of the hostages were released by the man, but a 48-year-old woman was held captive for several hours before the gunman was killed.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said there was nothing to suggest the Australians were deliberately targeted and the motive for the attack remained unclear.

‘We’ve asked for a full briefing to try to understand the motivation,’ Mr Smith told journalists in Melbourne.

The travel agents were on an educational tour to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, organised by a Sydney-based travel wholesale company, when the attack took place. (story)

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One Response to “Australian tourists taken hostage … briefly by Chinese man”

  1. […] blagomurch wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAustralian tourists briefly held hostage in China by a lone man armed with explosives on Thursday told of their ordeal as Canberra urged holidaymakers to heed travel warnings ahead of the Beijing Olympics.The man attacked a group of 10 Australian travel agents visiting the northwest city of Xi’an, famed as home of the Terracotta Warriors, on Wednesday before he was shot dead by a police sniper. ‘He was pacing up and down the bus, they couldn’t understand what he was saying. Then he turned around, opened up his jacket and he had a bomb strapped to him,’ said Sue Wynne, a friend of hostage Rhiannon Dunkley, after speaking to her. Nine of the hostages were released by the man, but a 48-year-old woman was held captive for several hours before the gunman was killed. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said there was nothing to suggest the Australians were deliberately targeted and the motive […] […]

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