Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Our Honeymoon Hell in Kenyan Riots; Couple Flee from Bloodshed

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Our Honeymoon Hell in Kenyan Riots; Couple Flee from Bloodshed

Article excerpt

Byline: By LISA HUTCHINSON

NEWLYWEDS Marcus and Fiona Coles have told how they fled their honeymoon in troubled Kenya under police escort.

The couple had to spend a night at a police station and then dodge rioters before getting out of the country.

More than 300 people have been killed following disputed presidential elections.

The Coles had booked for a 10-day luxury holiday in Mombasa after getting married on December 21.

But their dream honeymoon did not have a fairytale ending and they needed the protection of an armed escort to get them on their flight home.

Marcus and Fiona arrived in Kenya on December 23, but just days later violence broke out.

Now holidays to the country have been suspended and Britons are being warned to stay away amid the postelection bloodshed.

Safely back home in Ovington Grove, Fenham, Newcastle, the pair told of their nightmare as they dodged mobs to get from their hotel to the airport.

Marcus, 29, a teacher, said: "We stayed in the hotel most of the time because we were ill, but it was a good job we did.

"On the way to the airport we passed hundreds of people in riot mobs, all waving sticks and weapons and shouting.

"I tried to film the rioters, but one of them jumped on to our minibus.

"The tour operator said it wasn't a good idea to film because we could make them even more angry. It was all a bit intimidating and the shops, petrol stations and other buildings were smashed up with windows broken and places looted.

"There were fires in the middle of the road, burnt-out vehicles, trashed shops and armed police roaming the streets.

"It was like a war zone, it did look like that."

Marcus spent one night in hospital suffering from gastroenteritis and the pair spoke to locals before the election on December 27.

"In conversations with them we discovered that seemingly nobody was in support of President Kibaki and therefore we were surprised to hear he had won the election. …

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