Chinese hostages killed in Sudan

Foreign ministry says five killed, two escaped and two more still being held.

    Chinese diplomats had been pressing Khartoum to secure the men's release [EPA]

    The nine men had been seized with two Sudanese drivers near the disputed oil region of Abyei on October 19.

    The Chinese team had been working for the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) at the time of their capture.

    The oilfield is run by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), a consortium of four oil companies from China, India, Malaysia and Sudan.

    One of the Sudanese drivers escaped shortly after the abduction.

    Government blames rebels

    The men had been seized near the disputed oil region of Abyei
    An unidentified diplomatic source said shortly after the attack that members of the Arab Messeria tribe had carried out the abduction in an attempt to win a greater share of the region's oil revenue.

    But al-Sadiq said the kidnappers were local residents of Kordofan who took directives from a rebel group called the Justice and Equality Movement from the adjacent, war-torn region of Darfur.

    But Ahmed Hussein, a spokesman for the group, told The Associated Press that his group had "nothing to do with this incident".

    "This is just a way for the Sudanese government ... to distract eyes from the real issue of the crisis in the country and the criminal trial of [President Omar] al-Bashir," Hussein said.

    Al-Bashir was charged in July by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court with conducting a genocide campaign in Darfur.

    The court has still to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant.

    The abduction of the Chinese men is the third such incident over the past year in the region, the source of a large part of Sudan's oil wealth.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.