October 19th, 2008 | Xinhua China's embassy says nine Chinese workers kidnapped in Sudan
The Chinese Embassy in Sudan said on Sunday that nine Chinese workers had been kidnapped in an oil field near the restive western Sudanese region of Darfur.
A spokesman of the Chinese embassy said that the nine workers belonging to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) were kidnapped by unknown militants at the Southern Kordofan State.
“Nine Chinese oil workers, they are kidnapped,” an embassy spokesman said. “We’re still looking into the issue. We’re taking the necessary steps.”
Until now no armed group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
The Chinese embassy has started an emergency mechanism and held intensive contacts and consultations with the Sudanese authorities for an early release of the Chinese workers, according to the spokesman.
He said the kidnapping happened on Saturday and that the embassy was in crisis talks following the incident.
Ali Yousuf, director of protocol at the Sudanese foreign ministry, said that Sudanese forces were scouring the area of the kidnap, inside the “Block 4″ oil field, but “no contact has been made with the kidnappers.”