By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ZANZIBAR CITY, TANZANIA (BosNewsLife) — Fifteen people, including militants of terror network al-Qaida and Somali Islamist group Al-Shabab have been detained for alleged involvement in acid attacks against a priest and more than a dozen other people on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, police said.
The news came while Catholic priest Joseph Anselmo Mwagambwa was recovering Sunday, September 22, after he survived an acid attack following two other attacks against priests in the area.
He told reporters that he was attacked Friday, September 13, after leaving an Internet cafe in Zanzibar City. He was transferred to a hospital in Dar-es-Salaam on the mainland of Tanzania.
Two other Catholic priests were shot in the past year in what was seen as a wider crackdown on devoted Christians in Zanzibar, a mainly Muslim island some 22 miles (35 kilometers) outside the mainland. One priest was wounded last year and the other killed in February.
Several churches have been set on fire.
More recently, attackers have chosen acid as their favorite weapon against those they consider “infidels” or unwanted.
Last month, Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, were reportedly attacked in Stone Town, in the historic central section of Zanzibar City. The British nationals were in Zanzibar as volunteer teachers.
In July, a businessman of Arab descent was also sprayed with acid, residents said.
Police Commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa told media that police had seized 29 liters of acid from various people who were not legally entitled to have it.
He did not provide more details about the allegations that militants were among those detained, but church leaders have expressed oncerns about rising extremism in the area, a development that authorities fear could further impact crucial revenues from tourism.
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is ‘Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals’ since 2004).
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