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Reward offered for info on Jewish teens’ attackers in Zanzibar

(JTA) — The Zanzibar government has offered a $6,170 reward for information on attackers who threw acid at two British Jewish women.

Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, both 18 and from London, sustained injuries on their faces, chests and hands after two men on a moped threw acid at them on Wednesday night in Zanzibar City, the capital of the island off of eastern Africa.

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The island’s police commissioner, Musa Ali Musa, told the BBC there was “no prime suspect” for the attack and that many people had been questioned. Musa said the investigation was continuing.

The victims, who were volunteering as teachers for the charity Art in Tanzania, were flown back to Britain on Friday. The London Jewish Chronicle reported that both were Federation for Zionist Youth members.

Musa described the incident as “alien” to the police and said officers had no idea as to the motive. The attack took place in Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar’s capital.

Zanzibar President Ali Mohammed Shein said the assault had “brought chaos and confusion to our country and outside.”

Speaking to Muslims celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival, he said, “It was not a civilized act, it is not Islam. It was very cruel to throw acid on these innocent young girls.”

The BBC’s Tulanana Bohela, reporting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital, said Islam is the main religion of Zanzibar. In more remote parts of the island, away from tourist beaches, there are signs asking foreigners to respect the local culture and cover up, she said.

Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago, is part of Tanzania.

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