Incident Summary:

03/01/2007: Five British Embassy personnel, workers and relatives of workers, along with 9 Ethiopian guides & embassy personnel, were taken hostage during a tour of the Afar region in Hamedela, Ethopia, by the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
In the Hemedale area

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity Britsh government/ Embassy
Specific Description Embassy Workers in Ethiopia
Nationality of Target Great Britain
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity British Government/ Embassy
Specific Description Local workers & service personnel working for British Embassy
Nationality of Target Ethiopia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 18
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 53
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Grenade
Weapon Details
Grenades were used to disable the group's vehicles in order to avoid pursuit. There is a likelihood that small arms were involved, but that can't be verified.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Thirteen hostages (five Europeans and eight Ethiopians) were released, and five Ethiopians escaped
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Unknown)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
David Williams, “SAS Stand by after embassy staff are seized in Ethiopia”, The Daily Mail, March 03, 2007
Jamie Doward and Naomi Loomes and Jason Burke, “News: Kidnap Britons sighted in Eritrea: Ethiopians fear that the abduction marks an escalation of conflict”, The Observer, March 4, 2007
“Kidnapped Ethiopians released: ministry“, Agence France Presse, April 22, 2007