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Zanzibar acid attack: five held
Five men have been arrested over an acid attack on two British teenagers on Zanzibar.
Volunteer teachers Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, are returning home to London, where they will be helped to overcome their terrifying ordeal by family and friends.
The pair were attacked by men on a motorbike as they walked along a road on the Indian Ocean island on Wednesday night.
Mkadam Khamis, regional police commissioner in Zanzibar, told the Daily Telegraph: "There are five people we have, all men, who we are interrogating over this matter this morning. They have not yet been arrested. They are co-operating and answering our questions."
The young women, from north London, were enjoying the last week of a trip as volunteer teachers to the predominantly Muslim island when a corrosive substance was thrown at them in an apparently unprovoked attack. They suffered burns to their faces, hands, legs, backs and necks, The Times reported.
Marc Trup, Miss Trup's father, told the newspaper the pair were "inconsolable" and still in pain when he spoke to them on a mobile phone lent to the girls by a passer-by after the attack. "We couldn't get anything out of them because they had been burned," he said. "Both girls are very shocked and very frightened."
In a statement outside the Trup home, a family friend said the girls were flying home and their parents were looking forward to being reunited with them. Speaking on behalf of the girls' mothers, Rochelle Trup and Nicky Gee, he said: "Both families are extremely upset and distressed at this completely unprovoked attack on their lovely daughters, who had only gone to Zanzibar with good intention."
In a statement, i-to-i Travel, which organised their visit, said: "We can now confirm that both individuals are scheduled to be repatriated to the UK."
Mr Trup said the girls were dressed appropriately and had been warned not to wear anything which gave away their Jewish background, including the Star of David. He told the newspaper: "We know it's a Muslim country, they were Western girls. Unfortunately they went out during the month of Ramadan. There has been a huge alert in African countries with potential threats. Maybe it's connected, maybe not."
Their flight home came as news emerged that Miss Gee had been attacked previously on the island. A friend, Oli Cohen, 21, told the Daily Telegraph: "Katie was attacked two weeks ago by a Muslim woman for singing during Ramadan. She was shocked as it just came from out of the blue - but she wasn't scared enough to come home. She stayed out there to finish her trip and volunteering."