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TWO tourists, an American and a German, have died while scaling the peak of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. The victims were among 1,154 tourists who scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro to celebrate the dawning of the new millennium celebrations.

The Chief Warder of the Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA), Mr Lorivi Ole Moiranao named the deceased as Jennipher Stephen (55), an American, and Werner Hein (55), a German with passport number 9503683257.

Mr Moirana said the American tourist, Jennipher, died at the Uhuru peak which is 5,895 metres above the sea level.

He said Jennipher, who had an American passport number 034014218, fainted and died shortly after reaching the Uhuru Peak with her husband.

As for the German tourist, the KINAPA chief warder said he died of heart attack on 31 December as he was on his way to the peak through Rongai route. His body was yet to be received at the Marangu main gate by yesterday afternoon, he said.

Mr Moirana said 32 tourists suffered injuries and were saved by rescuers.

Elaborating on the injuries, Mr Moirana said some of them suffered sudden bouts of fever, failed to breathe and others failed to walk because of fatigue.

A photo-journalist from Majira newspaper in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mwanzo Millinga, was among the injured, according to reports obtained from the Marangu gate in Moshi yesterday.

One rescuer told this reporter that Mr Millinga failed to breathe properly. He was carried on the shoulders.

Mr Moirana added that out of the 1,154 climbers who scaled the mountain, 1,135 were foreigners and 19 were locals.

The tourists scaled the mountain through Marangu, Machame, Londorosi, Umbwe and Nalemoru (Rongai) routes.

Tourists came from South Africa, the United States of America, Britain, Japan, Australia, Switzerland and Brazil.

The Prime Minister, Mr Frederick Tluway Sumaye, was expected to welcome the tourists as they descended from the Africa's roof yesterday, at the Marangu main gate.

However, Mr Sumaye was represented by the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Prof. Philemon Sarungi, who presented certificates to all who reached the peak of the highest mountain in Africa.

The tourists started climbing the mountain on 28 December after the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mrs Zakhia Meghji, officially launched the Mount Kilimanjaro Top 2000 Expedition.

The millennium expedition was being co-ordinated by Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA).