British women survive acid attack in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (CNN) — Two British women were injured in an acid attack carried out by two men on a motorcycle on the east African island of Zanzibar, local police said Thursday.

The women, who were attacked in Stone Town, the island’s historic center, had been working as volunteer teachers on the island, travel firm i-to-i Travel said.

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular with tourists.

The attack occurred Wednesday night as the women were walking unaccompanied along a street, said police commander Muccadam Khamis.

The attackers, who did not take anything from their victims, left the scene on the motorbike, he said.

The women were taken to a local medical center for first aid treatment, he added.

British consular officials then helped them reach the city of Dar es Salaam, on the Tanzanian mainland, where they received hospital treatment, he said.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are concerned to hear of an attack on two British nationals in Zanzibar on 7 August. We are providing consular assistance and are in contact with the Tanzanian authorities.”

The women, who were in the final week of their trip when they were attacked, have now been discharged from the hospital in Dar es Salaam, i-to-i Travel said in a statement.

The company is working to support the women and assist their return home, it 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,” the statement said.

“The safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us and our own investigation will be launched as soon as it is possible to do so.”

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.

Its website advertises trips lasting from two to eight weeks teaching English in Stone Town.

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania.

 

Journalist Farouq Karim reported in Zanzibar and CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. CNN’s Bharati Naik contributed to this report.

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