China Hostages ‘Killed in Sudan’ (Updated)
Five Chinese oil workers taken hostage in Sudan have been killed, according to the BBC:
The five were part of a group of nine Chinese workers seized from an oil field in Kordofan in central Sudan.
The foreign ministry said two of the group were wounded but in government hands after escaping, and two were still held by their kidnappers.
The Sudanese government has blamed rebels from Darfur region, which borders Kordofan, for the kidnapping.
Update: New details have emerged about the deaths of the hostages, who the Chinese government is now saying were killed during a failed rescue attempt. The Chinese government is now saying that four were killed, not five as originally reported. From AP:
Late Tuesday, the ministry said it was still investigating what had happened, after receiving new information from the Sudanese government that indicated four hostages had died, four were rescued and one was still missing.
Mohammed Doureik, the Sudanese commissioner of Abyei where the oil workers died, said the kidnappers panicked when they saw a military aircraft fly overhead and killed their hostages.
He said the plane was monitoring the hostages, who had been kidnapped Oct. 18.
Jiang said the Chinese government was involved in the rescue, but would not elaborate or say if officials had been in contact with the kidnappers. A working group of Chinese Embassy officials and executives from China National Petroleum Corp., the parent company of the oil workers’ employer, was in Sudan at the time, she said.
Read also “China urges Sudan to ensure safety of Chinese personnel” from Xinhua.