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. Contact sought with kidnappers of Chinese in Sudan

China's ambassador to Khartoum Li Chengwen (R) and Sudanese Minister of state for foreign affairs Ali Ahmed Kerti (L) prepare to hold a press conference in Khartoum on October 20, 2008. Sudanese and Chinese authorities were seeking today to contact the kidnappers of nine Chinese oil workers snatched near Sudan's disputed oil district of Abyei. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Khartoum (AFP) Oct 20, 2008
Sudanese and Chinese authorities were seeking on Monday to contact the kidnappers of nine Chinese oil workers snatched near Sudan's disputed oil district of Abyei.

"To now we haven't any information about the kidnappers," China's ambassador to Khartoum Li Chengwen told AFP. "There is no communication between us and the kidnapped or the kidnappers. We are trying to collect new information"

The three Chinese engineers and six other workers employed by the China National Petroleum Corporation were seized by armed men on Sunday while they were travelling near Heglig, which is not far from Abyei.

Diplomats have said a Sudanese driver was also kidnapped.

Heglig lies near the line separating the former warring parties of north and south Sudan, in the Muglad Basin where most of Sudan's proven oil reserves are found.

Ali Yousuf, director of protocol at the Sudanese foreign ministry, told AFP on Sunday 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."

A diplomatic source has said that members of the Arab Messeria tribe carried out the kidnapping because they want a greater share of the region's oil revenue.

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Nine Chinese oil workers kidnapped near Sudan flashpoint
Khartoum (AFP) Oct 19, 2008
Nine Chinese oil workers have been kidnapped near Sudan's disputed central oil district of Abyei, the Chinese embassy said on Sunday, with a Sudanese driver also feared missing.

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