Five Europeans killed in attack in remote Ethiopia

Jan 18, 2012
By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Gunmen killed five European tourists and kidnapped two further foreigners and two Ethiopians in northern Ethiopia’s remote Afar region where separatist rebels have operated, the government said on Wednesday.

Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon said two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian died in the dawn attack on Tuesday in an arid area prone to banditry.

On Wednesday afternoon, 11 tired-looking survivors still dressed in trekking clothing arrived by plane in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Several hid their faces from the awaiting television cameras. One was pushed through the airport in a wheelchair, his knees and arms bruised, before the group was taken away in diplomatic vehicles.

Ethiopia blamed its neighbour and arch-foe Eritrea for the attack, saying it had trained and armed the gunmen. Ethiopia also blamed an Afar rebel movement for kidnapping five Westerners in the region in 2007.

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