Brit among tour group attacked by gunmen in Ethiopia

Brit among tour group attacked by gunmen in Ethiopia

A British tourist was among a group of European travellers attacked by gunmen in Ethiopia.

Five people were killed, another five were kidnapped and two wounded in the incident in the north of the country before dawn on Tuesday.

A Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a British national was involved in an incident on January 17 in Danakil. We are providing consular assistance.”

It is understood that the Briton was not among those killed or kidnapped.

The FCO reviewed its travel advice to the African nation, advising against all travel to specific areas of Ethiopia, including the Danakil desert area.

It said: “On the night of 16 January, a group of foreign tourists were attacked in the Danakil region. A number were reported to have been killed, with others injured. We continue to advise against all travel to the region.”

Two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian were killed, according to local reports. Two Belgians were seriously hurt and two Italians escaped unharmed. Two Germans were kidnapped and three Ethiopians were also reportedly taken hostage and taken across the border to Eritrea.

The tourists were visiting a volcanic region in Ethiopia's northern Afar region, which lies below sea level and is known for its extreme heat and salt flats.

The Ethiopian government described the attack “an act of open terrorism”, claiming that the gunmen came from Eritrea, although the neighbouring country denied involvement.

The government offered condolences to the victims' families and said it would “do everything possible to try and get those taken prisoner released as soon as possible”. It said those kidnapped may have been taken across the border into Eritrea.

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