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FM: 8 freed hostages now in embassy, coming home soon
Updated: 2005-01-24 08:40

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan confirmed Sunday that the eight kidnapped Chinese citizens have returned to the Chinese embassy in Iraq at Beijing time 10:25 pm Sunday.

They are now in good physical conditions and the embassy will arrange them return to China as soon as possible, Kong added.

Zhai Juan (R2), director of Department of West Asian and North African Affairs of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Yang Honglin (R1), Chinese ambassador to Iraq, express sympathy and solicitude to the eight Chinese citizens held hostages in Baghdad, Jan. 23, 2005. The eight have been safely transferred to the Chinese side and will be back to China soon, the Chinese embassy in Iraq confirmed Sunday. [Xinhua]
Kong said China is gratified with the safe return of kidnapped Chinese citizens, expressing his appreciation of the friends who offered help in China's rescue mission.

Kong also noted that Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao were very concerned with the safety of the eight kidnapped Chinese, and Chinese Foreign Ministry and other concerned departments, together with Chinese embassies in Iraq andother neighboring countries, tried their best to rescue the kidnapped.

Kong said that China hopes the situation in Iraq to resume stable soon and China supports Iraqi reconstruction process.

China will continue to make efforts with the international community for the appropriate solution to the Iraqi issue, Kong stressed.

Kong reminded all Chinese citizens again not to go to Iraq these days due to the current security situation in Iraq.

A videotape aired by Al-Arabiya showed Saturday that the eight Chinese hostages were released by Iraqi insurgents as a goodwill gesture for the friendship between the two countries of Iraq and China.

The eight Chinese were abducted en route to Jordan by gunmen identifying themselves as the Islamic Resistance Movement, according to a video tape released by the group on Tuesday.

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