December 6, 2017 / 7:14 AM / 2 years ago

Gunmen kill German tourist in Ethiopia's Afar region

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - A German tourist was killed and his Ethiopian tour guide injured in an attack by gunmen in northern Ethiopia’s remote Afar region, officials said on Tuesday.

The attack on Sunday evening took place while the tourist camped near the region’s Erta Ale volcano, security officials told Reuters.

Government spokesman Negeri Lencho confirmed the incident.

“The perpetrators of the attack are being sought by security forces,” he said, adding they were yet to identify who the attackers were.

The Afar province which borders Eritrea has long been prone to banditry and separatist rebels have operated there. Addis Ababa has said the rebels are backed by its northern neighbour, with whom it is at odds over an unresolved border dispute.

Five European tourists were killed and two others kidnapped alongside two Ethiopians in the same region in 2012, in an incident claimed by a group that has carried out sporadic attacks for over a decade.

The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) has fought a low-key insurgency to carve out a homeland from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Five years earlier, another five Europeans were kidnapped in the province - a barren, searingly hot corner of the Horn of Africa country where rocky hills rise above vast deserts below sea level.

Reporting by Aaron Maasho,; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Ed Osmond

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