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Angry PhOtOs/Videos-Acid Thrown in Faces of British Teachers

Was Horror Acid Attack on British Girls Working at Christian Nursery School in Zanzibar Inspired by Radical Preacher on Muslim Island?

  • The victims, 18, hurt in late night attack where acid was thrown in their faces
  • Londoners Kate Gee and Kirstie Trup were in final week of trip
  • Pair flown to Tanzania to treat burns on their faces, chests and hands
  • Police on Zanzibar have launched a manhunt for the attackers
  • Katie Gee's mother Nicky demands women are flown home immediately
  • Foreign Office is 'concerned' and in contact with Tanzanian authorities
  • Tanzania president visits women and calls attack 'shameful'
  • The teenagers are due to be 'medically evacuated' from Tanzania tonight
By Daily Mail UK, 9 August 2013

Kirstie Trup (pictured) was targeted two weeks ago for singing during Ramadan, it has been claimed

Two British teenagers suffered horrifying burns when acid was thrown in their faces in the third attack on them during their stay on a Muslim holiday island.
Voluntary workers Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, were targeted as they walked to a restaurant in Zanzibar.
Last night Miss Gee’s father Jeremy said her family were devastated after seeing photographs of her injuries.
‘The photographs I have seen are absolutely horrendous,’ he said. ‘The level of the burns are beyond imagination.’
Miss Trup’s father Marc, 51, a multi-millionaire dental surgeon and property developer, said a passer-by had come to the girls’ assistance after the attack and had called him.

‘He tried to put me on to them… you couldn’t get anything out of them. I couldn’t speak to them. Terrible, absolutely shocking,’ he said.

‘Kirstie was inconsolable. Both girls are very shocked and very frightened.’

The acid splashed on to the girls’ faces, chests, legs and backs and they also suffered burnt hands as they tried desperately to wipe the corrosive liquid away. It is not yet known if either will suffer permanent disfigurement.

Miss Gee had told friends she was assaulted in the street by a Muslim woman two weeks earlier, apparently for singing during Ramadan.

A project worker said the teenagers – both from privileged backgrounds in North London – were also involved in a heated argument with a shopkeeper days before the acid attack in the capital, Stone Town, on Wednesday night, the final night of Ramadan.

Witnesses described seeing two men on a moped drive past several other Western tourists before throwing acid at the girls.

Friends suggested they could have been targeted because they are Jewish, and local police said they wanted to speak to a radical Islamic preacher who could have inspired the attack.

The girls were working as volunteer teachers at a Christian nursery school and there were concerns they were attacked as part of escalating religious tensions.

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Nicky Gee, the mother of Katie (left) has demanded that her daughter and friend Kirstie (pictured before leaving for Zanzibar) are flown home immediately

Katie Gee, and Kirstie Trup, were hurt when corrosive liquid was thrown onto their faces and chests

Katie Gee cuddles a dog in a picture from a social networking site

Kirstie Trup, looked drained and scared as she arrived at hospital after the attack in Zanzibar

Katie Gee was comforted by a fellow traveller as she was driven to hospital in Tanzania

The teenage volunteer appears to be in pain as she is taken to hospital alongside a male friend

They were due to be flown back to the UK on special medical evacuation flight last night to see specialist surgeons today but when they arrived at Dar es Salaam airport, they found their plane had broken down, forcing them to wait for a replacement.

The teenagers were on a three-week trip to Zanzibar after taking their A-levels and had been due to fly home on Saturday.

Television images filmed after the attack showed one of them, obviously in pain, in the back of a car as they were taken to Zanzibar’s airport to be flown to the mainland for medical treatment.
Tanzania’s president Jakaya Kikwete visited them in the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, a signal of the shock caused by the attacks and of Tanzania’s determination to guard its lucrative tourism industry.

Both had been told to be aware of appropriate dress codes during Ramadan and were careful to avoid wearing anything which would identify them as Jewish.

On its website, i-to-i Volunteering asks: ‘Looking to teach and get a tan?’ A two-week stint teaching English in ‘sun-drenched’ Zanzibar will cost from £669.

That does not include flights, which depending on when you book can cost up to £900.

Your teaching commitment will range from four to eight hours a day, Monday to Friday, so plenty of time to ‘explore the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar’ and ‘taste the excitingly exotic island dishes’, some of the highlights listed by i-to-i Volunteering, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in its literature.
Also not included are the costs of travel insurance, visas, local transport and return airport transfer. You must also pay for a police check when applying.

Included in the trip, which on a CV is likely to impress a future employer, is accommodation in a shared room in a basic hostel, breakfast and a £15 budget for lunch and dinner, an airport pick-up on arrival, training in the local customs and support from a pre-departure helpdesk.

Home: Kirstie Trup, 18, lives on this road in affluent Hampstead, north London

'Distressed': A family friend read a statement on behalf of the girls' families outside Miss Trup's Hampstead home

Mr Trup said they were targeted ‘for no reason’, saying: ‘We know it’s a Muslim country. They weren’t dressed inappropriately because they know the rules.’

Miss Gee’s mother Nicky, 45, said: ‘I’ve spoken to my daughter – her whole face and body is burned. They were dressed appropriately, they just attacked two young girls.’

The teenagers live streets apart in North London and have been friends since early childhood. Miss Trup, whose mother Rochelle, 49, is a volunteer on the board of Jewish Women’s Aid, attended the Jewish Free School, while Miss Gee was a pupil at Francis Holland School in Chelsea.


Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup were flown to the Aga Khan Hospital in Tanzania (pictured) and have now been discharged

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete visited the two women in hospital and called the attack 'shameful'

They are believed to have paid around £700 each to i-to-i Volunteering to spend two weeks with the educational charity Art in Tanzania. Both were teaching at the St Monica nursery school, linked to the Anglican church, while working with the charity.

School friend Oli Cohen, 21, said Miss Gee had spoken about a previous attack. He said: ‘The girls were walking through the town singing when a Muslim lady came up to Katie shouting. She hit her in the face for singing.’

A spokesman for i-to-i Volunteering said the attacks were ‘a freak accident’, adding: ‘All our efforts remain focused on ensuring they are supported whilst assisting them and their relatives with the arrangements for their return home. The safety of our customers is of paramount importance.’

The pair's mothers, Nicky Gee and Rochelle Trup, are said to be 'extremely upset and distressed' over the attack on their daughters.

Family friend Doug Morris read a statement from the two mothers outside Kirstie's family home in Hampstead Garden Suburb.
He said: 'Both families are extremely upset and distressed at this completely unprovoked attack on their lovely daughters who went to Zanzibar with good intentions.
'We understand that they will be flying home overnight.'

The women were attacked as they walked through the narrow streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar

Speaking outside the Hampstead Garden Suburb mansion Kirstie lives in with her dad Marc and mum Rochelle, another friend added: 'They are in the end game now, it has been a bit fraught liaising with the insurance company and consul.
'We think the medevac flight is organised. The latest information is they are going to be leaving Dar es Salaam in a couple of hours, maybe three hours.

'They have got to do it in three four-hour flights. It is a long haul.
'The number one priority is getting them back, I think they are pleased to be coming home.'
He said both sets of parents had spoken to their daughters and asked if it was emotional said 'yes'.
He added: 'I can't comment on the medical treatment, we just wanted to get them home, get them seen and get them treated.'

The girls were attacked as religious tension between Christians and Muslims on the paradise island continues to rise.
The semi-autonomous region of Tanzania is predominantly Muslim and has been the scene of some religious violence in recent years.
Last November a cleric was hospitalised in an acid attack and two Christian leaders were killed earlier this year.
Five churches were also torched last year.

Mkadam Khamis, a police commander on the island, told the Associated Press the women were teaching at a primary school affiliated with the Anglican Church.
Police refused to link the attack with the rising religious tensions.

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete described the attacked as 'shameful' after visiting the girls in hospital.

The Foreign Office travel advice for Tanzania warns that although most visits to the country are trouble-free, 'violent and armed crime is increasing'.

The teenagers ran to the Tembo Hotel (pictured) after the attack by two men on mopeds

The advice, available on its website, says:

'Mugging, bag snatching (especially from passing cars) and robbery have increased throughout the country.'
It adds: 'In Zanzibar incidents have taken place in Stone Town and on popular tourist beaches.'

Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania's president, is reported to have visited them at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam and promised that the men responsible for the 'shameful' attack would be found.
The pair were in the final week of their three week trip volunteering with the NGO Art in Tanzania.

Television images showed one girl obviously in pain in the back of a car at the Zanzibar airport.
They were flown to hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and have since been discharged and police say the women were lucky to escape serious burns.
A spokesman for Art in Tanzania said representatives were at the Aga Khan Hospital to help the girls, who were also being interviewed by Foreign Office officials and again by police.

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete visited the two women at the Aga Khan Hospital.

Police said it is the first acid attack on foreigners on the island and have launched a manhunt (file picture)

Zanzibar, a paradise island around 22 miles off the coast of east Africa, and part of the republic of Tanzania, attracts thousands of British tourists a year.

Police on the island say it is the first time a tourist has been attacked in this way.

However, there have been concerns that religious tension in Zanzibar have increased in recent months.

Said Ali Mbarouk, Minister of Information, said: 'We should cooperate with other government sectors to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.

'I beg our nationals in any way this is not something they should be doing because tourism is the strong pillar of our economy so if we do such acts we are killing our economy and our livelihoods in general so it is not an honourable thing to do it's a bad thing and it's supposed to be condemned by all citizens of Zanzibar.'

The police described the attack as 'an isolated incident', refusing to link it to rising religious tension on the island between majority Muslims and its Christian population.

Dr Mike Jennings, a lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, said Muslim group called Uamsho, which translates as 'The Awakening', was a political rather than terrorist organisation and had no known links to Al Qaeda.

He said they want an independent Zanzibar and to introduce Islamic law on the island.

Dr Jennings said: 'It is political with a religious tone. Some people see it is as terrorism, but I don't think it is.

'Maybe this group was behind the attack, although it is too early to say.'

The majority of islanders are Muslim, with Christians making up as little as five per cent of the population.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: 'We are aware of an incident and are providing consular assistance.'.


Attack: Two British women have been injured after acid was thrown in their faces in an assault in Zanzibar, an island in the Indian Ocean


Lured by photographs depicting a tropical paradise isle, thousands of British tourists flock to Zanzibar each year.
But beyond the brochure pictures of turquoise waters and white sand beaches fringed by palm trees, escalating religious tensions have threatened to sour the island’s idyllic image.
While tourists relax on its beaches and luxury resorts, life for the islanders is overshadowed by widespread poverty, soaring unemployment and a heroin epidemic.

Against that backdrop, hardline Muslim extremists preach a message of hate and resentment against the tourists who support Zanzibar’s biggest industry.
Radical preachers rail against the sale of alcohol in tourist bars and female visitors who wear Western clothing.

Two weeks after she arrived on Zanzibar, Katie Gee had already experienced the more menacing side of life on the spice island.

In a Twitter message to friends, she wrote: ‘A Muslim woman just hit me in the street for singing on Ramadan. Is that normal.’

Police insist the acid attack against the British teenagers was the first of its kind on the island, but there is no dispute that recent years have seen an upsurge in violence. There have also been a number of politically motivated acid attacks, although none have been against tourists.

Two years ago, youths hurled petrol bombs into at least three bars in protest at the sale of alcohol.

In May 2012, a violent mob set fire to the 500-seater Assemblies of God Church in Stone Town, the island’s capital.

Seven months later a Catholic priest was shot and wounded and in February this year another priest was shot dead.

Christians, who form three per cent of Zanzibar’s 1.2million predominantly Muslim population, spoke of ‘living in fear’ on the Indian Ocean island, which was once famed for religious tolerance. Police have said they want to question Islamist preacher Sheikh Issa Ponda Issa about suggestions his teaching could have inspired the acid attacks.
He was in Zanzibar earlier this month, and last year was arrested for stoking religious hatred. Police do not believe he was directly responsible for the acid attacks.

In some mosques, imams have been heard to praise the ‘freedom fighters’ of al-Shabaab, the militant Islamists in Somalia.

The Foreign Office has warned that violent and armed crime has increased.

In 2009 Irish aid worker Robert Stringer, 26, was found dead on a beach at a holiday resort on the north coast, seemingly killed for his phone and the small amount of cash in his wallet. And in 2004 Scottish conservation volunteers Grace Forster, 18, from Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, and Rob Scott, from Bristol, were shot when pirates ambushed their camp on the nearby island of Pemba.
Some women in the group were sexually assaulted and others struck with gun butts.

Sexual assaults and threats against Western women are also believed to have increased in recent years, although officials warn the majority of tourists do not report such incidents to the police.

The Foreign Office advice warns travellers to avoid political protests in Zanzibar, saying they have turned violent and sometimes resulted in deaths. It also warns about an increase in muggings, bag-snatching and robbery, particularly in Stone Town and popular beach resorts.

Zanzibar, 22 miles of the coast of Tanzania, was used by slave traders throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and Stone Town houses many reminders of the island’s past.
It is also famed for its spice plantations, and as the birthplace of Queen singer Freddie Mercury.

Previously part of the Portuguese empire, it fell under the control of the Sultanate of Oman until it was declared a British protectorate in 1890, as part of Britain’s drive to abolish slavery. It gained independence in 1963 and is now a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, with its own government.

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