ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Two British women were severely injured and sent to Dar es Salaam for treatment after being thrown acid on their faces, hands and chest in Zanzibar, Tanzania's semi-autonomous region, a senior police official said on Thursday.
Zanzibar West/Urban regional police commander Mkadam Khamis Mkadam said the incident happened at Wednesday night at Shangani area of Zanzibar Stone Town while the British women were walking.
"Two unidentified young men driving a Vespa attacked the young women both aged 18 years and disappeared before they were surrounded for help," Mkadam said.
Saleh Mohammed Jidawi, a senior health ministry official, said that the women's wounds were "not life threatening."
The two teenagers, who were identified as Gate Gee and Kristie Trup, were working with the volunteering organization i-to-i and had been out there on a four-week trip. They had been due to return home to the UK on Saturday.
The island is a popular destination for students doing voluntary works and tourists.
None of the attackers has been arrested yet, the police commander said, adding that the motive behind the attack is yet to be known while the investigation is still going on.
"We have launched a manhunt for the attackers," Zanzibar police spokesperson Mohamed Mhina said.
This is the first time for foreigners to be attacked with acid in Zanzibar and the fourth similar incident in the isles.
More than two years ago, Director of Zanzibar Municipal Council Rashid Ali was thrown acid. Last year, a secretary of Zanzibar Muft (Cleric) Fadhil Suraga was attacked by acid and was heavily injured on his body including eyes. Early this year, ward leader of Unguja western district Said Ali Kidevu became a victim after being attacked with acid by an unknown person.
While these kind of heinous and humiliating attacks happened from time to time, police up to now have not arrested any particular persons connected to the incidents.
The Indian Ocean isles, famed for their white sand beaches and historical buildings in Stone Town which is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, are mainly Muslim residents, with 3 percent of the 1.2 million population Christian.