The body of a Chinese worker who went missing during a rebel attack on a work site in Sudan has been found, state media reported Tuesday.
The official Xinhua News Agency said China was told of the recovery by Sudanese officials in South Kordofan. The man went missing Jan. 28 when a group belonging to the Sudan People's Liberation Army attacked 47 Chinese workers at a road construction site.
Seventeen others managed to escape and 29 were taken hostage. Xinhua quoted Sudanese media as saying the 29 are expected to be released in the next several days, following mediation by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Xinhua said the ICRC was mediating between officials in the capital Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army, a branch of a guerrilla movement that has fought various regimes in Khartoum for decades. Its members hail from a minority ethnic group now in control of much of South Sudan, which became the world's newest country six months ago in a breakaway from Sudan.
Sudan has accused South Sudan of arming pro-South Sudan groups in South Kordofan. The government of South Sudan says the accusations are a smoke screen intended to justify a future invasion of the South.
Chinese companies have invested heavily in Sudanese oil production. South Sudan and Sudan are in a bitter dispute over oil, which is produced primarily in South Sudan but runs through Sudanese pipelines for export.