Killer of Britons shoots himself

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The Independent Online
Tangier (Reuter) - A policeman who killed two British tourists in the north Moroccan city of Tangier last week committed suicide yesterday as police closed in on his hideout.

Martin and Margaret Gower, a couple in their 60s from Ruislip, west London, were killed instantly by the gunman, who shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) during a rampage last Friday. Patricia Sherrat, a British woman in her 50s who was shot in the back, flew home in a hospital plane on Sunday.

Police went to a house near Ksar Seghir, four miles north of Tangier, after hearing that the fugitive policeman was hiding there. The official Moroccan news agency, MAP, said: "As he noted their presence, he shot himself with a bullet in the head, which killed him instantly."

The killer has been identified as Inspector Mustapha Hamouche, a 39- old-father of four. He went on a shooting spree at a seaside hotel after killing his wife. Three other tourists, including a 12-year-old British girl, Charlean Barker Hall, were wounded in the attack at the Tariq hotel. Charlean and her parents heard a woman shouting, "Help me! Save me!", and Charlean spoke to the gunman, who, she said: "looked carefully at me" before opening fire.

Police said the shooting appeared to be a crime of passion by a distraught husband who thought his wife was cheating on him during frequent visits to the hotel. A German tourist who was in the bar at the time of the shooting said there were about 50 people in the bar when a man wearing a long white robe walked in and started shooting with a small pistol.