According to http://www.news.sky.com, at least five foreign tourists, including a number of German nationals, were killed in the Afar region of Ethiopia earlier today (January 17), possibly by assailants that crossed into Ethiopia from neighboring Eritrea. A sixth tourist apparently escaped, who may be in a position of offering crucial information to authorities and appropriate embassies.
COMMENT: In its quest for tourist dollars, Ethiopia has insisted that tourists in the area be accompanied by a police escort, but apparently such protection, if it actually existed, was insufficient.
As I have urged in other postings, foreign tourists are urged to coordinate their travel in high-risk regions with their governments before initiating travel and conferring with local embassies who will have knowledge of the security risks in given areas.
In 2007, five Britons were held by an Afar separatist group for two weeks after being abducted in an attack on their convoy. They were released in Eritrea before being reunited with their families.