Chinese engineer killed in Kenya attack

By Guo Qiang (
Updated: 2007-02-01 16:43

A Chinese stone materials plant in Kenya was attacked by four unidentified assailants, leaving one Chinese engineer dead and another wounded, state media reported on Thursday.

Xu Derong, 42, a native of Shanghai died during the attack and Zhang Kui was injured but in stable condition after receiving emergency treatment, the Shanghai Morning Post reported, without elaborating further on Zhang.

The grisly attack took place at 3 a.m. (local time) on January 30 and police in the East African country immediately started to hunt for the four assailants, but information on their identities has not been released.

The killing came as Chinese President Hu Jintao kicked off his 12-day eight-nation African tour, during which he will pay state visits to Cameroon, Liberia, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Seychelles and Sudan.

A China Foreign Ministry official in Kenya said it is a criminal case and not a terrorist attack. "The attack was not aimed at Chinese nationals," he said.

Chinese ambassador to Kenya Zhang Ming has met with personnel from the Kenyan Foreign Ministry, Kenyan Minister of Interior Affairs and local police, iterating China's grave concern over the attack on Chinese nationals and calling for Kenya to find the murderers immediately and better protect Chinese lives and property.

The stone materials plant belongs to the China Road & Bridge Corporation, which is helping the country to build the Mombasa Road.

The town of Mombasa is East Africa's largest port and Kenya's main tourist hub. Located in the southeastern part of Kenya, it is one of the most significant towns not only for it's the imports and exports through its port but also as a major destination for tourists visiting Kenya.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry set up a consular protection department in 2006 in an effort to protect the safety of Chinese nationals all over the world.

The safety of Chinese nationals in African countries has become a cause of public concern after media reports of Chinese being abducted in Nigeria and have aroused speculation that Chinese are targets in Africa.

Five Chinese telecom workers were kidnapped by Nigerian gunmen in the southern oil city Port Harcourt on January 5, but were later safely released and in stable condition.

On January 25, another nine Chinese oil workers went missing after being attacked by an armed group in Nigeria on Thursday. The fate of the missing is still unknown.

South Africa is another trap for Chinese nationals.

A 28-year old Chinese national was shot dead in an armed robbery at a supermarket 60 kilometers east of Johannesburg in a recent ruthless killing.

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