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Ethiopia nabs two for tourist's death
January 10 2013 at 08:50pm
Addis Ababa - Ethiopian police have arrested two men suspected of involvement in the murder of an Austrian rafter shot dead during an apparent robbery of his travel group, an official from the force said on Thursday.
The 27-year-old man was killed as he camped on the banks of the Blue Nile river on Sunday in a remote area near Bahir Dar, about 570 km (350 miles) north of the capital Addis Ababa.
Three other Austrians on the scene were not injured.
“We have caught two suspects who were found in possession of clothing, money and other items that belonged to the victims,” said Solomon Mohammed, spokesperson of the regional police commission in Ethiopia's northern Amhara region.
Solomon said police were also looking into whether there was a political motive to the killing, but declined to go into details. Rebel groups are active in some of Ethiopia's remote regions, but there has been no reports of such activity recently in Amhara.
The incident occurred almost exactly a year after five Europeans, including an Austrian, were killed when their travel group was attacked in the northeastern Afar region bordering Eritrea. - Reuters
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian man was shot dead during an apparent robbery of his travel groupthat was rafting down the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia, the foreign ministry said on Monday.
Three other Austrians accompanying him were unharmed in the incident that occurred on Sunday in remote country near Bahir Dar, about 570 km (350 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa. The gunmen attacked the men as they camped on the shore, a spokesman said.
Ten Austrians in all were taking part in the tour.
The survivors alerted the Austrian embassy by satellite phone about the fatal shooting of the 27-year-old victim. The gunmen eluded a search party.
The ministry's website carries a travel advisory warning about the risks of terrorist attack in Ethiopia and the danger of kidnappings in some border areas, but has no warning for the region where this attack took place.
Five Europeans, including an Austrian, died a year ago when their travel group was attacked in the Afar region near Eritrea.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
By Aaron Maasho
ADDIS ABABA | Wed Jan 2, 2013 8:01am EST
(Reuters) - Ethiopian police have arrested 15 suspected militants allegedly trained by Islamist rebels in neighboring Somalia and who were plotting attacks in Ethiopia, the country's intelligence agency said on Wednesday.
The arrests were the latest in a crackdown on what senior officials say is a growing threat from militant Islam in Ethiopia, a Horn of Africa nation predominantly comprised of Orthodox Christians and a large minority of Muslims.
The would-be militants were caught following a 20-day sting operation while they plotted to set up cells in the eastern town of Harar and in Kemise in the northeast, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said.
"Members of the group were recruited, trained and armed by Somalia's al Shabaab and their aim was to wage Jihad (holy war) and stage attacks inside the country," an NISS statement said, aired by the state-run Ethiopian Television.
Addis Ababa has sent troops to Somalia to help other African countries battling to crush al Shabaab's six-year insurgency.
The suspects, whose nationalities were not disclosed, were said to have crossed into Ethiopia from Somalia and Kenya.
Wednesday's TV report showed police displaying large amounts of arms including rifles and grenades, as well as black flags with Arabic inscriptions. The report said CDs and video tapes of "jihadist messages" were also seized during the operation.
On Tuesday, an Ethiopian court convicted 10 other militants of preparing strikes on political and economic targets in Ethiopia with the help of Somalia's al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab.
Muslims in Ethiopia staged several mass protests last year against perceived interference in Islamic affairs. Several leaders of a committee that led the protests now face trial.
Ethiopia fought Islamist rebels in Somalia in 2006-2009 and sent troops back in 2011 to fight al Shabaab, opening a third front alongside Kenyan troops and an African Union mission.
The onslaught on rebels in Somalia has gained ground in the past two years. Al Shabaab withdrew from the southern port of Kismayu in September, its last major urban stronghold, heralding its demise as a quasi-conventional military force.
(Editing by Richard Lough and Alistair Lyon)