Sunday, 11 August 2013

Muslim Preacher Wanted For Acid Attack On British Teenagers in Zanzibar

Culled From DailyMail
A radical Muslim preacher wanted in connection with an acid attack on two British teenagers in Zanzibar has been shot by police, it was reported.
Sheikh Issa Ponda Issa was hit in the shoulder with a tear gas canister as he tried to escape from officers after being cornered near Tanzania's capital Dar es Salaam, The Sunday Mirror said.
Ponda Issa is accused of inspiring the attack on Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, while they volunteered in Zanzibar.
The pair continue to be treated in hospital today and are said to be 'well rested and comfortable'.
The women were admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on Friday where they are receiving treatment for burns inflicted in an unprovoked attack while they were on a volunteering holiday on the island, off the coast of Tanzania.
Family members of both teenagers are keeping a bedside vigil, after they were flown home and immediately sent to the capital's regional burns centre.
A hospital spokesman confirmed the pair, from north London, continue to be treated by medics. Their conditions are described as 'stable'.
He said: 'The patients are well rested and comfortable at the hospital. They have been with their families all day.
'Doctors are continuing to assess treatment options for both patients.'
Leading surgeon Dr Mohammed Jawad, who treated model Katie Piper after she had acid thrown at her, said the two teenage volunteers would need skin grafts after seeing a picture of the injuries.
He told The Sun: 'These are deep burns. They'll end up having surgery, no question about it.'
Yesterday, police said they had questioned at least five men in Zanzibar about the attack but no one was arrested. 

Sheikh Ponda arrived on Zanzibar a week ago amid claims that he was attempting to rouse support for anti-government demonstrations.
He wants Islamic law imposed on the island, where the majority of people are Muslim.
Sheikh Ponda was arrested in October last year following escalating religious tensions in the country.
Police in Dar es Salaam said Sheikh Ponda, who is the head of the Council of Imams, was arrested for inciting religious hatred and organising illegal demonstrations.
Meanwhile, Tory MP Bill Cash, who sits on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tanzania, has urged the Foreign Office to further upgrade its travel warning for tourists visiting both Zanzibar and Tanzania because it was 'more than just an ordinary criminal event'.
The Foreign Office updated its Tanzania travel advice page on Friday with details of the attack and warns British nationals to 'take care' and read its travel advice.
Mr Cash told the Sunday Express: 'People need to be extra vigilant and the Foreign Office and High Commission need to make a very thorough evaluation of the threat, as these latest attacks would seem to be on religious grounds.
'The threat to tourists going to Tanzania and Zanzibar needs to be upgraded without doubt.'
Miss Gee has already taken to Twitter to say: 'Thank you for all your support x'.
A photograph released by the teenagers' families showed the injuries one of them suffered in the attack
She is shown wearing an open striped shirt and a silver necklace and what appear to be acid burns are clearly visible on her chin, neck and upper chest.
One of the victim's injuries are much worse than the other's, it was reported, because helpers used dirty water on her burns.
Her friend was reportedly immersed in the sea in the aftermath of the attack at Stone Town, a beach resort, and the salt water helped her skin.
'That completely altered the result: the salt water and the acid,' Miss Trup's father, Marc, said.
'The other girl panicked, ran around, made her way to a public toilet.'
When 'they got to the medical centre there was no shower,' he added. 'They were throwing dirty water at her.'
He said both women were struggling with the aftermath of the attack.
He told the Sunday Times: 'Each girl faces their own trauma, different but each equally important.
'These scars, mental and physical, [are] something they both have to live with for a long time.'
British tourist Sam Jones told how he desperately tried to help one of the women as the acid burned through her skin following the attack on Wednesday night.
Mr Jones, who was on holiday on the island with his girlfriend Nadine, told The Sun how he heard their screams following the attack and found one of them crouching by a toilet block in pain.
'She just kept screaming that she needed water,' he told the newspaper.
'My girlfriend grabbed a hose and we started to wash her down as best we could.'
The couple said they supported the injured women by joining them on a private plane to Dar es Salaam for treatment.
Police said five men are being questioned by officers on the Indian Ocean island after the women were attacked by men on a motorbike as they walked along a road.
Zanzibar's assistant police commissioner Mkadam Khamis Mkadam told an east African newspaper: 'They were accosted by two men riding a motorcycle ... they poured this liquid ... we suspect it [was] an acid, before they ran away.'
The young women were enjoying the last week of a trip as volunteer teachers to the predominantly Muslim island when the corrosive substance was thrown at them in an apparently unprovoked attack.
They had originally planned to return in time to collect their A-level results next week, with Miss Trup hoping to study history at the University of Bristol while Miss Gee is considering the University of Leeds, it was reported.

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