Ethiopia: 6 kidnapped children killed after families fail to pay ransoms

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Ethiopia flag (File, iStock)
Ethiopia flag (File, iStock)

Six children who were kidnapped in northern Ethiopia have been shot dead by their captors after their families failed to come up with ransom money, a state-affiliated media outlet reported Tuesday.

Unidentified "bandits" abducted eight children near the Gondar zone of Amhara regional state on December 20 and demanded that their families each pay ransom of 120 000 Ethiopian birr (around $3 700), the Amhara Mass Media Agency reported.

"Failing to secure the ransom money, the kidnappers tied the children with ropes in pairs and shot the children on December 29," the report said.

One of the children managed to break free of the rope and flee before the kidnappers had a chance to shoot him, while another was found alive despite having been shot, it said.

The victims were between the ages of 10 and 16.

Police have yet to determine who was behind the killings.

Kidnappings and criminal banditry in general are common in Tegede locality, where the crime occurred, but the killing of kidnapped children is considered highly unusual.

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