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HIV TESTS FOR TRIO SHOT WITH JUNGLE BLOWPIPE.

Byline: AIDAN McGURRAN

THREE people shot from a passing car with metal darts from a jungle blowpipe are being tested for HIV and Hepatitis.

The four-inch darts were fired randomly at pedestrians within minutes of each other.

A 24-year-old woman was shot in the stomach as she crossed a road, and her husband was hit in the thigh by a second dart found nearby.

The mystery sniper in Ipswich, Suffolk, struck again 10 minutes later a mile away. A 22-year-old man was going to the boot of his car when he felt a sudden pain in his left buttock and found a dart embedded there. He then saw a silver car passing slowly by.

The woman, who asked not to be named, was kept in hospital overnight. She said: "I was just going about my normal business when a car went past with three passengers inside. The doctors have said there's a slight possibility the dart may have been carrying a virus.

"I've now got to have regular tests and be kept under observation. Three months is a long time to wait. I'm just in deep shock."

Police think the pounds 25 blowpipe was bought two hours before the attacks on Saturday afternoon at a Cash X-change surplus store.

They are examining CCTV footage from the shop, which has sold 30 blowpipes in eight months.

The pipe is similar to ones used by natives hunting squirrels and monkeys in the Malaysian jungle.

CAPTION(S):

WEAPON: Four-inch dart
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 8, 2004
Words:247
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