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Foreign Tourists Robbed in Cape Town
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Two groups of European tourists were robbed of their personal belongings at gunpoint in Langa, a township in Cape Town, South Africa, local media reported on Wednesday.


Local newspaper Cape Argus said that a group of seven tourists, five Germans and two British nationals, were robbed while leaving the Chris Hani Independent school in the township on Tuesday afternoon.


They had just made a donation to the school when a gang of armed teenagers pounced on them, taking their belongings, including cash, and only left when pupils and community members gave chase.


Hours after the armed robbery, another group involving 40 Dutch tourists were robbed while leaving a restaurant in the township, local police spokesman Elliot Sinyangana told the SAPA news agency on Wednesday.


Sinyangana said the group was approached by four men and a woman, demanding personal belongings at gunpoint and some of the tourists were attacked and injured when they refused to give in to their attackers.


Sinyangana said no arrests were made, but there was an increased police presence in the area following the two robberies.


South African townships such as Langa and Khayelitsha in Cape Town and Soweto in Johannesburg become increasingly popular among foreign tourists because the townships, which were designated for black Africans during the apartheid era, demonstrate to foreigners South Africa's dramatic history of struggle and rich cultural heritage.


Following these attacks, the Democratic Alliance, South Africa's largest opposition party, issued a statement requesting Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula to take urgent action, the SAPA said.


"Several armed attacks on foreign tourists over the last few days confirm that safety of tourists ahead of the 2010 (FIFA) World Cup is a major concern," the party's Dianne Kohler Barnard said.


(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)

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