Two British Women Attacked with Acid in Tanzania

Two British Women Attacked with Acid in Tanzania

Two young British females were injured in an acid attack carried out by two men on a motorcycle on the east African island of Zanzibar, the autonomy region of Tanzania, the local police reported on August 8, 2013.

The incident happened in Stone Town, the island's historic center and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The victims had been working as volunteer teachers on the island, travel firm i-to-i Travel said.

The victims were identified as Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, from London.

Police Cmdr. Muccadam Khamis informed that the attack occurred on August 7, 2013, night as the women were walking unaccompanied along a street. The attackers were driving a motorbike, and left the scene immediately, without taking any belongings.

Several eyewitnesses said the acid was splashed on the women's faces, chests and hands.

The local government condemned the attack and vowed to find the perpetrators, offered a reward of 10 million shillings (about $6,000) to anyone providing information leading to arrest of the offenders.

The women were given first aid treatment at a local medical center before British consular officials helped them reach a hospital in the city of Dar es Salaam, on the Tanzanian mainland, Khamis said.

"The motive for the incident is as yet not known and we will await the report from the local authorities in Zanzibar before any comment can be made," a statement of i-to-i Travel Company said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but it comes against a backdrop of rising extremist Islamist sentiment in the area.

British authorities have said tens of thousands of British holidaymakers travel to Zanzibar every year and that this is the first such incident to affect foreign visitors to the island.

i-to-i Travel says it aims to provide young travelers with "meaningful travel trips" and life-changing experiences by placing them as volunteers with community projects overseas run by non-governmental organizations. 

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