Monday 19 March 2018

German killed in attack at Ethiopia volcano

German killed in attack at Ethiopia volcano
(AFP 12/07/17)

A German citizen was killed during an attack at a volcano near Ethiopia's volatile border with Eritrea, Germany's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The lava lake at Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia's arid Danakil depression is a popular tourist destination, despite a history of kidnappings and killings of visitors to the area.

"The Foreign Office confirms one deceased German national during the attack at Erta Ale," the ministry said in a statement without offering further details.

Ethiopia's government did not immediately respond to requests for comment and no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Danakil lies near the country's contested border with Eritrea, a one-time territory that voted to leave in 1993 and that fought a devastating two-year war with Ethiopia, which ended in 2000 and left tens of thousands dead.

The two countries remain enemies and support different armed groups in an effort to destabilise each other.

In 2012, five European tourists including two Germans were killed, and two others kidnapped, at Erta Ale by the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDU) rebel group after a gun battle at the volcano.

The kidnapped tourists, also Germans, were released after less than two months in captivity.

In 2007, ARDUF seized five European tourists and eight Ethiopians. The Europeans were released after 12 days to the Eritrean government, while the Ethiopians were freed almost two months later.

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