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Efforts urged to rescue kidnapped Chinese
By Wu Gang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-18 08:59

The government of Sudan has been urged to help rescue two kidnapped Chinese workers in the Sudan, China's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The two men were abducted by anti-Sudanese Government militants in western Sudan at about 4 pm on Saturday.

The workers were on their way back after drilling water wells some 80 kilometres from the western Sudan city of Buram, said Fong Fude, the charge d'affairs at the Chinese Embassy.

The two - Li Aihua, 34, and Jia Huipeng, 22 - are with the North China Construction Company. The firm contacted the Chinese Embassy on Sunday and reported the kidnapping incident.

The Chinese embassy held an emergency meeting to discuss necessary measures to rescue the men, Fong said.

Leaders of the Chinese State Council and cabinet, are were concerned about the incident and gave instructions for rescuing the men, Foreign Ministry sources said.

The ministry also told the embassy to contact the Sudanese Foreign Ministry and other concerned institutions, asking them to help resolve the problem.

The Sudanese Government has expressed deep regret for the incident and is vowing to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and immediate release of the men.

The Sudanese have promised to keep updating Chinese officials about developments in the case.

"We are very concerned about the safety of the abducted employees in Sudan," said Liu Fengyu, deputy director of North China Geological Survey Bureau, a supervising agency of the construction company.

Liu said they will try whatever they can to ensure the safety of the men while co-operating with the efforts of the Chinese Embassy.

The bureau will also take care of the men's families, she said.

The Sudan branch of the Tianjin-based company has been operating two years. The workers have dug more than 100 water wells, winning acclaim from the Sudanese people, she said.

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