Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grist to the Mill !

Some people have a knack of getting caught in highly undesirable situations and escaping by the skin of their teeth but eventually making the most of it. Read on :

British author Frederick Forsyth has told the BBC how he was caught in the turmoil this week in the tiny West African state of Guinea-Bissau, rocked by the assassinations of its president and army chief.

The best-selling author of books including "The Day of the Jackal" recounted how President Joao Bernardo Vieira died a long and bloody death -- and said he might even use the experience in his next book.

"I can assure you I had nothing to do with the coup d'etat," said the writer, who has previously admitted to helping fund a 1973 coup attempt in nearby Equatorial Guinea, and whose 1974 book "The Dogs of War" recounted a failed plot to topple the government of a fictional African country.

Vieira was assassinated on Monday in apparent retaliation for a bomb blast Sunday night which killed the head of the armed forces, General Tagme Na Waie.

Forsyth -- in the country to research his latest thriller -- told how he was woken his his hotel bedroom by an explosion in the early hours of Monday, as soldiers launched an apparent revenge mission on the veteran president.

"They went to his villa, threw a bomb through the window which hurt him, but didn't kill him," Forsyth told the BBC late Tuesday. "The roof came down, that hurt him but didn't kill him either.

"He struggled out of the rubble and was promptly shot. This, however, still didn't kill him. They then took him to his mother-in-law's house and chopped him to bits with machetes," he added.

The author said he was temporarily stranded in Bissau, the country's capital. "I can't get out now. I was due to fly out tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, and I rather think that they're going to keep the airport closed, which is very inconvenient," he said.

But he was philosophical. "What I was researching had nothing to do with bumping off generals or bumping off presidents. But it's a little extra garnish on the cake, so I'll probably use it eventually in the book."

Cool, isn't it ?

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