By The Africa Report
Ethiopian rebels on Tuesday said they had released two German tourists they have been holding hostage for almost two months.
The two were among a group of tourists who were caught up in an attack when a rebel group stormed a camp in the remote region of Afar, close to the Eritrean border.
Five tourists were killed during the raid, which Ethiopia blamed on its neighbor Eritrea.
The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF), which later claimed it was holding the two Germans alongside two Ethiopian guides said it had freed the tourists after days of negotiations with elders in the region.
The government also confirmed the release.
Two other Germans, two Austrians and one Hungarian were killed in a gun battle between rebels and government forces.
The area is a popular volcanic spot known for being the hottest place on the planet.
Following the kidnapping of the tourists, ARDUF claimed that there were repeated clashes between its forces and government troops.
ARDUF had been fighting a low-level insurgency in the northern region near the tense Eritrean border to end what it says is "political marginalisation and economic deprivation" by Addis Ababa.
The group claims to have no links to Eritrea although Prime Minister Meles Zenawi insists they are funded by Ethiopia's neighbor.Source: The Africa Report