Policeman kills British tourists

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TWO BRITISH holidaymakers were shot dead and two others wounded - including a 12-year-old girl - in a Tangier hotel yesterday when a Moroccan policeman killed his wife then turned his gun on tourists enjoying a late drink.

The police inspector, Mustapha Homouch, dressed in plain clothes, walked into the bar of the Tarik Hotel in the early hours of Saturday morning, police said, and attacked guests at random.

Martin and Margaret Gower, both in their 60s, from Ruislip, Middlesex, died instantly when the off-duty officer calmly walked in and sprayed the bar with gunfire.

Other tourists were caught up in the mayhem. Patricia Cherratt, a British woman in her 50s, appeared to have been shot in the back and police said she was seriously hurt. Another Briton, 12-year-old Charlene Parker, was slightly wounded, and a Frenchman in his late 20s was also injured.

Confusion surrounded the events leading up to the killings. A police spokesman in Tangier said Homouch had earlier killed his wife and seriously injured his brother-in-law at his home in the Mediterranean port before going to the hotel.

After the shooting spree the policeman fled, sparking a massive manhunt, police said.

British guests on holiday at the hotel with First Choice had been transferred to other accommodation.

The police said the shootings seemed to be a crime of passion by a demented husband who thought his wife's frequent visits to the hotel meant she was being unfaithful.