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Hammer attack on tourists: 4 held

Four people have been arrested after three wealthy tourists were bludgeoned by a hammer-wielding attacker who sneaked into their hotel room in the middle of the night.

A lone man managed to get into the room on the seventh floor of the four-star Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch in London's West End in the early hours of Sunday morning.

When one of the women woke up, he attacked her with the hammer, and then turned on the two other victims, fleeing the hotel in bloodstained clothes.

One woman is in a critical condition and the other two remain in hospital although their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said three men, aged 56, 34 and 32, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder at addresses in Islington, north London, yesterday. A 31-year-old woman was held on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

All four remain in custody at north London police stations.

It is understood that the three women, who are all from the United Arab Emirates, had deliberately left their door unlocked because they were staying in the hotel as part of a large family group.

They were sleeping with three children, who were unharmed, in two adjoining rooms.

The wealthy family, who had come to London for shopping and sightseeing, arrived in the UK between April 3 and 5 and the women had visited large West End stores on Saturday.

No keys were stolen from the hotel and police said there had been no breach of security at the venue. Detectives are scouring CCTV to establish the movements of both the women and their attacker earlier in the day.

The Cumberland Hotel is near Europe's busiest shopping street, Oxford Street, and has 1,000 rooms including a Jimi Hendrix suite.

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