Two British women have had acid thrown
in their faces in Zanzibar, police on the
east African island say.
Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18 and from
London, were working as volunteer teachers on
In a statement, Kent-based i-to-i Travel said the
women had now been released from hospital.
The Foreign Office said it was "concerned to hear
of an attack on two British nationals" and was
"providing consular assistance".
Police said two men on a moped threw the acid
at the women, splashing their faces, chests and
hands as they walked through the streets of
Stone Town, the old part of the island's capital
Zanzibar City, which is a Unesco world heritage
Kirstie Trup (left) and Katie Gee are both from
Deputy police commissioner Mkadam Khamis
told AFP news agency: "The motive for the
attack on the volunteers aged 18 years, has not
been established. Investigations are on until we
apprehend the criminals."
Respect local culture
The two women were volunteers for the charity
Art in Tanzania, having booked through the
company i-to-i Travel.
Kari Korhonen runs Art in Tanzania with two
other directors. He told the BBC in an email the
"ladies are OK considering the seriousness of this
type of case".
He added: "We have been operating as NGO
some 10 years and this is the first serious
He said he found out about the incident
immediately after it took place and that the
charity was "sorting out the incident background
with the British High Commission and the
Another of Art In Tanzania's representatives in
Zanzibar said the two women had been
volunteering with the organisation for just over
two weeks. He said they had been on their way
to dinner when they were attacked.
In a statement, i-to-i Travel said: "All our efforts
remain focussed on ensuring they are supported
whilst assisting them and their relatives with the
arrangements for their return home."
It added that "the motive for the incident is as yet
The women were in the final week of their trip, i-
to-i Travel said.
The police on Zanzibar said it was the first time
foreigners had been attacked in this way.
The BBC's Tulanana Bohela in Dar es Salaam
says Islam is the main religion on Zanzibar and
in more remote parts of the island, away from
tourist beaches, there are signs asking foreigners
to respect the local culture and cover up - in case
skimpy outfits upset villagers.
However, most islanders depend on tourism for
their livelihoods and are happy to see tourists
and there is little antagonism towards them, she
Tanzania's minister of information, tourism,
culture and sports, Said Ali Mbarouk,
condemned the attack.
"We should co-operate with other government
sectors to ensure that the perpetrators are
arrested and brought to justice," he said.
"And I beg our nationals, this is not something
they should be doing. Tourism is the strongest
pillar of our economy, so if we do such acts we
are killing our economy, and our livelihoods in
"So it is not an honourable thing to do, it's a bad
thing and it should be condemned by all citizens
The Foreign Office's travel advice for the semi-
autonomous Zanzibar is the same as that for the
rest of Tanzania.
The Foreign Office says that while the majority
of 75,000 British nationals have "trouble free"
visits to Tanzania every year, "violent and armed
crime is increasing" and "there is an underlying
threat from terrorism".
It also says that "mugging, bag snatching
(especially from passing cars) and robbery have
increased throughout the country" and "in
Zanzibar incidents have taken place in Stone
Town and on popular tourist beaches".
Recent attacks in Zanzibar include an acid attack
on a Muslim cleric in November, and the
shooting dead of a Catholic priest in February.
Another priest was shot and wounded in