UK: Tourists kidnapped in Ethiopia were released

Five Europeans who were abducted in Ethiopia almost two weeks ago have been released in neighboring Eritrea and are in good health, the British government said Tuesday. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said the three British men, an Anglo-Italian and a French woman, all British diplomats or their relatives, were released earlier Tuesday in Eritrea and had been taken to the British embassy in Asmara, the Eritrean capital. British officials on Tuesday lifted a reporting restriction on identifying the five. They are Peter Rudge, first secretary of the British embassy; embassy worker Jonathan Ireland; Malcolm Smart and Laure Beaufils of the Department for International Development; and Rosanna Moore, an Anglo-Italian whose husband Michael Moore heads the British Council's Ethiopia office. Beckett said officials "continue to be concerned for the welfare" of a group of Ethiopians abducted at the same time. The hostages were on a tourist trip to the remote Afar region of northeastern Ethiopia when they were seized at gunpoint along with 13 Ethiopians. Their 4x4 vehicles were later discovered abandoned, riddled with bullet holes and grenade shrapnel.