- - Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Gunmen kill tourists in ‘act of open terrorism’

ADDIS ABABA — Gunmen in Ethiopia’s arid north attacked a group of European tourists traveling in one of the world’s lowest and hottest regions, killing five, wounding two and kidnapping two others, an Ethiopian official said Wednesday.

Ethiopia called the attack “an act of open terrorism” and said the gunmen came from neighboring Eritrea and attacked the tourist group before dawn Tuesday. Three Ethiopians were taken hostage. Eritrea denied it was involved.

Austrian, Belgian, German, Hungarian and Italian nationals were among those in the tourist group, Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon said.

The five killed were two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian, according to an Interpol report cited by the spokesman for Hungary’s prime minister.

Two Belgians were hurt seriously, and two Italians escaped unharmed, the report said. Two Germans were kidnapped.


Thousands died from lack of aid, report says

NAIROBI — Thousands of people, more than half of them children, died needlessly and millions of dollars were wasted because the international community failed to respond to early warnings of an impending food crisis in East Africa, aid agencies said in a report released Wednesday.

Most rich donor nations waited until the crisis was in full swing before donating a substantial amount of money, says the report by Oxfam and Save the Children.

A food shortage was predicted as early as August 2010, but most donors did not respond until the United Nations declared parts of Somalia in famine in July 2011.

The aid agencies said many donors wanted to see proof that there was a humanitarian catastrophe.

That caused a funding shortfall that delayed a large-scale response to the crisis by about six months.

The report says the delays in East Africa caused thousands of deaths and increased costs for aid agencies. The British government estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 people have died from the famine, mostly Somalis.

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