Muslim cleric Sheikh Issa Ponda is in Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania under police guard. He is wanted for questioning about the acid attack on two British teenagers.
Police surrounded Ponda in Morogoro and injured him with a tear gas canister. At first the media reported he was captured, but he escaped in a car. His followers threw stones at the police as he sped away. The police tracked him down when he sought medical help for his injuries. Tanzania spokesman Advera Senso described the scene to the UK Mirror:
Tanzania spokesman Advera Senso said: “There was a Muslim crusade at 2pm on Saturday in the Morogoro region.
“Sheikh Ponda was there and spoke for a short time before leaving in a car. Police attempted to stop the car from the front to make an arrest.
“His followers protested and tried to stop the officers. They were hit with stones as they tried to apprehend Ponda.”
Police do not think he is connected to the attacks, but he was in Zanzibar a few weeks before the attack. Witnesses saw him tell his followers to protest against the Christians and incited Muslims youths to violence.
Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, two 18-year-old Jewish girls, were spending a month on the island volunteering at the St. Monica nursery school. Last Wednesday, two men on a moped drove past several groups of white tourists before stopping in front of the girls and threw acid on them.
They returned to London on Sunday and are resting at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.