A 21-year-old Dutch woman was brutally assaulted along with a British and an American student on their way to South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the South African news site SAPeople and the British newspaper The Sun reported.
The carjacking was so brutal that police are classifying the case as “attempted murder.” The incident occurred on June 30, but details have only now emerged.
The car of the three women, who were to complete a photography internship in the national park through the organization African Impact and others, was attacked by a masked gang that fired at least four shots at their vehicle. Two of the three women, including the 21-year-old Dutch woman, were hit by the bullets. According to the Sun, The hail of bullets also smashed the windscreen and windows, showering the petrified passengers with flying glass. As a result, all three suffered injuries from the flying glass of the car windows.
The masked gunmen then took control of their Suzuki Cherry and drove the trio to a remote location near White River, 25 miles from the notorious Numbi Gate at the national park in Mpumalanga Province, the Daily Mail reported. There they robbed them of their luggage, cameras, laptops, money, and jewelry.
According to the Sun, the three interns were then abandoned on the dark dirt track while two of the severely injured women were bleeding from their bullet wounds.
The American student, who was the only one not hit by a bullet, then managed to drive the vehicle to a nearby store where she called for help. Emergency services took the three women to a hospital in the nearby town of Mbombela for treatment. The perpetrators have not yet been apprehended.
According to The Sun, the 21-year-old British woman is also believed to be of Dutch origin. However, she lives in England, where she used to go to school and now attends university.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not aware of the incident. The ministry says it will only take action if someone asks the embassy for help.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times