UK

British Tourist Shot Dead In Ethiopian Church On Christmas Eve

25/12/2014 19:11 GMT | Updated 25/12/2014 19:59 GMT
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Ethiopia, on the road from Bahir Dar to Gondar

A British tourist has been killed in Ethiopia, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The British national was shot dead in the north western Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar at 10:30am local time on Christmas Eve, according to reports.

A suspect has reportedly been arrested and the tourist has been taken to the capital Addis Ababa today for a post mortem.

Government spokesman Shimeles Kema said the suspect had not known the gun was loaded and that the incident happened in a church on the morning of Christmas Eve, Sky News reported.

He said: "It appears that a resident of Bahir Dar, who was licensed to carry a gun, accidentally discharged his gun while changing the gun position from one shoulder to the other."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in Ethiopia. We are providing consular assistance to the families."

According to reports, the British victim was a 47-year-old man who was shot with an "old rifle".

Bahir Dar is a popular tourist destination located some 310 miles (500km) north west of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia's Amhara region.

Located on the southern tip of Lake Tana at the source of the Blue Nile river, it is home to 200,000 people and several ancient monasteries and churches.

Five tourists were killed, four people were kidnapped and three injured during an attack at Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia's northern Afar region in January 2012.