Ethiopian rebels announce release of German hostages | News | DW | 06.03.2012
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Ethiopian rebels announce release of German hostages

The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unit Front (ARDUF) said on Tuesday it had freed two German hostages, but Germany's Foreign Ministry has not yet confirmed the release.

Two German tourists who were taken hostage by Ethiopian rebels in the country's Afar region in mid-January, have been freed, according to the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unit Front (ARDUF).

ARDUF rebels said they had apologized to the two Germans, who had been kidnapped while on a trip to see the Erta Ale volcano with a holiday group.

"We wish them a happy trip home," ARDUF said.

Two other Germans, two Hungarians and one Austrian man were killed in the attack.

A spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry, however, said the release could not be confirmed at this moment and that everything was being done to resolve the situation.

ARDUF said they had released the hostages on Monday, also saying they had planned on doing so earlier, had they not been "attacked" by government forces.

ARDUF has around 200 members, who fight against what they consider the political and economic marginalization of the Afar region in the northeast of the country.

It denies working with neighboring Eritrea. Ethiopia and Eritrea, which fought a war on borders between 1998 and 2000, had blamed each other for the kidnapping of the tourists.

ng/msh (dpa, AFP, Reuters)