Couple survive gun robbery in Kenya

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A HONEYMOON couple told yesterday how they escaped with their lives when they were hijacked on a Kenyan game reserve by armed bandits who threatened to kill them.

Lara Charalambous, 28, also managed to save her wedding ring by pocketing it when the gang, armed with assault rifles, stormed their safari bus.

But her husband, Gary, also 28, had his ring and a watch ripped off before the couple were dragged out of the bus along with other tourists and told they were to be executed.

The couple, bank-workers from Bournemouth, Dorset, whispered "I love you" to one another as they lay face down waiting for the gang to open fire. But the bandits slipped away, sparing the honeymooners who had married just six days earlier. Mr Charalambous said: "[Later] people were saying to us: 'Why aren't you dead? They normally shoot the people they rob'."

The attack took place as they headed for the Sarova-Shaba game lodge at the end of the couple's second day at Shaba reserve in northern Kenya.

The mini-bus they shared with other tourists was ordered off the road by the 12-strong gang armed with AK-47s and German assault rifles.

The couple have complained to the London-based travel company, Somak, that they were not warned about the true nature of the dangers. But, while sympathising with the couple, a Somak spokeswoman defended the company saying there is always the possibility of danger to travellers.