The Zanzibar Acid Attack

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 9 2013 12:41 PM

British Teens Attacked With Acid While Volunteering In Zanzibar

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Locals look at newspaper headlines in Stone Town, where two young British women suffered an acid attack, on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar.

Photo by ISSA YUSUF/AFP/Getty Images

Details of a disturbing incident involving two British teenagers volunteering in the south African nation of Tanzania are coming to light today. Kirstie Trupp and Katie Gee, both 18, were attacked with acid by two men on a motorcycle, leading to severe burns.

Gee’s father told the Telegraph that "the level of the burns are beyond imagination," and Trupp’s father painted a similar picture when speaking to the Times of London, saying that the girls were "inconsolable" and nearly unable to speak after the attack occurred.

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Authorities on Zanzibar—the popular island destination where the girls were working—are investigating the incident and believe that the attack was perpetrated by members of a radical Islamist group known as Umasho. Here's the Telegraph with the latest on the investigation:

All of the men were detained late on Thursday and in the early hours of Friday in Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar. ... “There are five people we have, all men, who we are interrogating over this matter this morning,” said Mkadam Khamis, regional police commissioner in Zanzibar.
The men were being questioned at the regional investigations office at Zanzibar’s police headquarters. One is understood to be a shopkeeper with whom the women had an argument earlier in the week.

Fundamentalist members of Umasho are fighting to impose sharia law on the island and dress codes for women, even tourists. Officials had said that the two girls were dressed appropriately at the time. Gee and Trupp have since been flown back to London, where they are expected to make a full recovery eventually.

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