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Sunday, 11 August 2013
Zanzibar acid attack: Hate cleric Sheikh Issa Ponda Issa shot and captured by police
Police hit Sheikh Issa Ponda Issa in the shoulder with a tear-gas canister after cornering him near the capital Dar es Salaam
Victims Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee
An extremist Islamic preacher who allegedly inspired the acid attack on two British volunteer teachers was shot and captured in Tanzania earlier today
Police hit Sheikh Issa Ponda Issa in the shoulder with a tear-gas canister after cornering him near the capital Dar es Salaam.
A manhunt was launched after it was claimed he provoked the attack on Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, both 18.
Sheikh Ponda was taken to hospital where he was fighting for his life under armed police guard.
The girls, who had been working in Zanzibar City and who may have been attacked for being Jewish, suffered appalling burns and trauma.
They are currently in a stable condition at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, London.
They were said to be responding well to treatment and a spokesman said they were “well, rested and relaxed”.
Their families have been keeping bedside vigils with them since the teenagers were flown home on Friday.
Katie has tweeted: “Thank you for all your support x”.
Cleric Sheikh Ponda returned to the island a week ago to try to drum up support for protests against the government.
It has been claimed that he provoked the ambush to raise the profile of his campaign to rid Zanzibar of foreigners and impose hardline Islamic law.
Police have released seven people after questioning them about the attack and are believed to be looking for two more suspected assailants.
Sheikh Ponda was arrested in October 2012 for stoking religious hatred after Muslim protesters vandalised and torched five churches. He was released in May.
He has links to the fanatical Islamic group Uamsho, which is suspected of involvement in an acid attack on a moderate imam and the murder of a Catholic priest.
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