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Ethiopian Prime Minister Says Officials Have 'Good Idea' Where Hostages Are


Ethiopia's prime minister says authorities have a fairly "good idea" where a group of kidnapped Europeans and Ethiopians are being held.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi did not state the location or say who the kidnappers were. He did say the hostage-takers have not made any specific demands.

Five Europeans were abducted 11 days ago while traveling with 13 Ethiopian drivers and translators in Afar, a remote and barren region near Ethiopia's border with Eritrea. Five of the Ethiopians are believed to have been released.

Mr. Meles said the Europeans, who are linked to the British embassy in Addis Ababa, were not personally targeted by the kidnappers. He said they were "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

On Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said she received word the hostages were safe.

Ethiopia's foreign minister said the government has ruled out a military operation to free the captives. He said the kidnappers are being reached through "different channels," and he urged the safe release of the hostages.

The Europeans include three British men, a French woman, and a woman with British and Italian nationality.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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