- Sudanese government has condemned killing of four Chinese workers who were allegedly kidnapped by Justice and Equality Movement in southwest of the northern African country last week.
A group of Nine workers from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) were kidnapped from an oil field in Abyei region near western Sudanese region of Darfur on 18 October.
A spokesman for ministry of foreign affairs in Khartoum, Ali al-Sadiq, confirmed killing of oil workers, saying government has launched a search party to free remaining captives.
He said abductors of Chinese oil workers, killed workers without any provocation, indicating that two of them managed to escape with injuries and remaining two were recaptured while one is still missing.
"The minister of foreign affairs has issued a statement strongly condemning act and requesting the international community to do the same. The ministry also believes that JEM has committed so many atrocities in the past without being condemned by international community," he said.
Chinese government has also condemned killing of its citizens in Sudan, calling it a terrorist act, but said it would continue to invest in the country.
JEM has accused China of supporting Khartoum in conflict with Darfur, and said it wants Chinese nationals out of the region. It has also been pushing for fairer distribution of oil wealth.
But a rebel group spokesman, Ahmed Hussein, denied groups involvement in killings and abductions of workers.
"JEM is not responsible for this attack. It has no question whatsoever with this incident. This is just an allegation from Sudanese government because they know JEM is the only force that is challenging them politically and militarily," he said.
It is third time since last year that oil workers have been abducted in energy-rich region. Rebels have previously warned Chinese and other oil firms to leave the country, saying their operations help support government in Khartoum.
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