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    Attacked Australians Recovering, Pharmaceutical Society Of Australia

The two Australians attacked by a machete-wielding man at a Morocco hotel are expected to be released from hospital on Friday, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) spokesman Aaron Hall said today.

The two were among a group of delegates and partners visiting the country as part of a Pharmaceutical Society of Australia study tour.

"The man who attacked the two Australians was apparently an ex-employee of the hotel who was aggrieved about his dismissal," Mr Hall said.

"It seems to have been a random attack, there's no suggestion that Australians were deliberately targeted."

The two injured people - John Parkinson, of Victoria, and Diana Knox, of NSW - are being treated by skilled French-trained doctors.

Mr Parkinson suffered cuts to his head, wrist and stomach while Ms Knox suffered a broken arm and a slash wound.

The King of Morocco was staying at the hotel at the time and has been providing assistance to the wounded pair. He ensured French/English translators were available at the hospital so the injured pair could understand exactly what treatments were being undertaken.

It is believed Ms Knox will fly to London after release from hospital, continuing her originally-planned itinerary. Mr Parkinson is expected to return directly to Australia.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Brian Grogan - who was in Morocco with the group - said he would be following the progress of the pair as they recovered.

"I'll be staying in contact in coming weeks to see what assistance we can offer," Mr Grogan said.

"It's a terrible thing to have happened to them."

Mr Grogan said the rest of the group would continue the tour.

"We went into town this afternoon after the attack and the people were lovely and friendly.

"There were no security issues whatsoever.

"It appears that this was a random attack by an angry ex-employee of the hotel and it's most unfortunate that two members of our group were caught up in it." The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the organisation that represents the professional interests of Australia's 16,000 pharmacists. It provides standards of practice, education, training and practice support for pharmacists and helps members of the profession to deliver the best health care to their patients.

www.psa.org.au

Publication Date: 2007-05-22 14:00

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