ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – Unknown attackers killed five foreign tourists in Ethiopia’s northeastern Afar region, state television reported Tuesday.
The foreigners, whose nationalities were not immediately known, were killed on Monday in the remote region bordering Eritrea, Ethiopian Television said, citing the defence ministry.
A German foreign ministry official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said they were probing reports that German nationals could have been victims of the attack.
“Reports of an attack on tourists group with German citizens in Ethiopia are being followed up. The German foreign ministry and the German embassy are working with determination to clarify the matter and the fate of the German citizens,” the officials said on phone from Berlin.
The tourists were in a group and other sources reported injuries and kidnapping.
The Afar region, an unhospitable desert with shallow salty lakes and chains of volcanoes, is reputed to be one of the hottest place on earth and known for hominid fossil finds.
In 2007, a group of European nationals were kidnapped in the region, but later released by rebel group that captured them.
Ethiopia, which often accuses its arch-foe Eritrea of backing rebels fighting the Addis Ababa regime, accused Eritea of supporting the group behind the 2007 kidnapping.
Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a bitter territorial war between 1998 and 2000 and are still deeply at odds over their border.