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3 Chinese workers kidnapped in Sudan, 1 missing

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-13 22:22

KHARTOUM - Three Chinese workers were kidnapped by militants in Sudan's Darfur region on Saturday, and a Chinese engineer is missing there, officials with the Chinese embassy in Khartoum told Xinhua Sunday.

The Sudan branch office of China Railway 18 Bureau Group Co., Ltd. reported to the Chinese embassy in Khartoum that a construction site of the road between El Fasher and Um Keddada in North Darfur State came under attack by a group of armed militants at around 2 p.m. local time (1100 GMT) on Saturday, according to an embassy official.

Three Chinese drivers who were transporting building materials were kidnapped by the militants along with several Sudanese workers, the source said, adding that another Chinese engineer went missing when inspecting along the road at about 4 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) on Saturday.

No group or individual has yet claimed responsibility for the incident. But Mohamed Suleiman Rabih, head of Kuma county of North Darfur State, confirmed the attack and kidnappings to Xinhua on Sunday.

The Sudanese army has arrived at the scene immediately after learning the news, and is now working hard to rescue the abductees and arrest the assailants, Rabih said.

The 168 km-long road between El Fasher and Um Keddada is named the "West Salvation Road" by the Sudanese government. Its construction began in January of 2010.

The Darfur region, located in western Sudan, borders Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic. Some local armed groups, citing the government's negligence in the region's development, have been launching anti-government attacks since 2003. Figures from the Sudanese government show that almost ten thousands people were killed in the armed conflict while about three million were displaced.

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