Dutch woman shot in face while vacationing on Madagascar: report

A Dutch woman was shot in the face during a robbery while on vacation in Madagascar over the weekend. The bullet used turned out to be composed of corn and scrap. "If there had been a real bullet in that gun, my wife would be dead now", husband Tim Doelman said to the Telegraaf.

Tim and Annelies Doelman were in a car with a guide and a driver near Behopaka when they were stopped by two men dressed as police officers. When their car stopped, around 20 people jumped from the bushes, armed with knives, axes and sticks. The windows of their car were smashed and three of the four people in the car were robbed of their possessions.

The robbery lasted at least 20 minutes, Tim said to the newspaper. "One of the men who pretended to be a police officer turned around while walking away and shot into the car, hitting my wife in the head", he said. Annelies sustained an ugly wound in her face. She received first aid from someone Tim describes as a "local medicine man". The next day she was taken to another village, under police escort, for medical attention. "But we are still afraid that the wound is infected", Tim said. 

One piece of luck is that the robbers overlooked Tim Doelmans. "I still have my phone, from which I am now calling. And my money. So we were able to continue our trip", he said to the Telegraaf. The couple sought help from an emergency center and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Dutch embassy in Dar es Salaam has since contacted them, and Tim is in contact with the honorary consul in Madagascar.