Two British teenagers subjected to an acid attack on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar had previously been attacked during their stay, it has been reported.
Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, are recovering after the attack by men on a motorbike as they walked along a road on the island. The teenagers, from north London, were in the last week of a trip as volunteer teachers to the predominantly Muslim island, when men on a moped reportedly threw a corrosive substance at their heads and chests.
One of their friends, Oli Cohen, 21, told the Telegraph: "Katie was attacked two weeks ago by a Muslim woman for singing during Ramadan. She was shocked as it just came from out of the blue - but she wasn't scared enough to come home. She stayed out there to finish her trip and volunteering."
Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean around 22 miles off the African mainland. The semi-autonomous region of Tanzania is predominantly Muslim and has been the scene of some religious violence in recent years. Last November a cleric was a victim of an acid attack and two Christian leaders were killed earlier this year.
Mkadam Khamis, a police commander on the island, told the Associated Press the women were teaching at a primary school affiliated with the Anglican Church.
Miss Gee's mother Nicky told the Telegraph: "I've spoken to my daughter - her whole face and body is burnt. It was an acid attack on two English girls. They were dressed appropriately - they just attacked two young girls."
The attack took place in the Stone Town area of Zanzibar's eponymous capital city.
The girls, who both have Jewish roots, went on a month-long tour of Israel in 2011 organised by the Federation of Zionist Youth (FZY).
FZY's director in Britain Harry Jardine said: "They spent a month in Israel volunteering, touring the country and learning the history of the area. Katie stayed involved but it was not a huge involvement, she took part in our leadership programme. She is an engaged, intelligent, very sunny girl - an absolute pleasure to meet. I spent a month away with her and there was never any issue. When I heard the news I was shocked and I would like to wish the girls a speedy recovery."
FZY describes itself as a Jewish Zionist youth movement which aims for its members to "feel comfortable to express themselves, develop a strong Jewish and Zionist identity and have amazing, unforgettable experiences". Mr Jardine said he was not in a position to comment on whether the girls may have been targeted because of their ethnicity.