(by Aaron Maasho
Mon Mar 5, 11:44 AM ET)
HAMAD ELA (AFP) - Four British diplomats arrived Monday at the remote site in northeast Ethiopia where five Britons and 13 Ethiopians were abducted last week, as Britain reportedly prepared a commando rescue team.
The Britons -- all linked to Britain's embassy in Addis Ababa -- and their Ethiopian drivers and translators, were kidnapped last Thursday in the remote Afar desert region near the Eritrean border, according to the Ethiopian state news agency.
Four members of a crisis team from London arrived at the remote town of Hamad Ela, where they questioned local inhabitants and examined the carcasses of three burnt out cars, one of which was an off-road vehicle carrying diplomatic number plates.
One vehicle appeared to have been destroyed by an explosion while the two others were peppered with bullet holes.
British newspapers reported Monday that a group of elite Special Air Service (SAS) commandos had been readied for a possible rescue attempt.
Some 60 SAS troops have already been dispatched to neighbouring Djibouti, the British Daily Mirror reported Monday, while the Times talked of a "substantial" team and the Guardian said special forces were already in Ethiopia itself.......