Gunmen kill Austrian rafter in Ethiopia

VIENNA Mon Jan 7, 2013 8:19am EST

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VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian man was shot dead during an apparent robbery of his travel group that was rafting down the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Three other Austrians accompanying him were unharmed in the incident that occurred on Sunday in remote country near Bahir Dar, about 570 km (350 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa. The gunmen attacked the men as they camped on the shore, a spokesman said.

Ten Austrians in all were taking part in the tour.

The survivors alerted the Austrian embassy by satellite phone about the fatal shooting of the 27-year-old victim. The gunmen eluded a search party.

The ministry's website carries a travel advisory warning about the risks of terrorist attack in Ethiopia and the danger of kidnappings in some border areas, but has no warning for the region where this attack took place.

Five Europeans, including an Austrian, died a year ago when their travel group was attacked in the Afar region near Eritrea.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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