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Seven abducted Chinese in Iraq identified
Updated: 2004-04-12 20:43

All of the seven Chinese nationals abducted in Iraq are confirmed to be farmers from east China's Fujian province, according to sources with the local police station in Fujian province Monday.

The hostages, all males from Pingtan county of Fujian, are Xue Yougui, Lin Jinping, Li Guiwu, Li Guiping, Wei Weilong, Chen Xiaojin, and Lin Kongming.

According to an official with Fujian provincial foreign trade and economic cooperation department, all of them went abroad for "private purpose".

There is no laborer dispatched by the province to Iraq right now, the official said, adding that all laborers working in Iraq have returned before the Iraqi war.

The seven Chinese nationals, aged between 18 and 49, were kidnapped by armed men in Fallujah, west of Baghdad on Sunday after they entered Iraq via Jordan, Chinese diplomats in Baghdad said.

Chinese leaders are highly concerned with this case, and have instructed the Foreign Ministry and Chinese diplomats now in Baghdad to begin rescue work with utmost efforts for an early release of the seven hostages, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Sun Bigan, head of the team responsible for the re-establishment of the Chinese Embassy in Baghdad, called an emergent meeting and formed a special taskforce for rescue work.

Sun called the newly-appointed interim Iraqi Interior Minister, and asked the minister to take every necessary measure to rescue the seven under the precondition of ensuring their safety.

The Chinese diplomats are also contacting with officials of the interim Iraqi governing body and people of other walks of life to lend a hand for the rescue work.

In view of the current situation in Iraq, the foreign ministry hopes the Chinese citizens in Iraq will take measures to protect themselves and contact the team responsible for the re-establishment of the Chinese Embassy in Baghdad. The phone number is 001-914-8227530 or 8227529.

The Foreign Ministry's department of consular affairs also publicized its hotline for help: 8610-65963513, 8610-65963755, 8610-65963515 (fax).

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