Kidnapped Chinese workers in Sudan freed: Xinhua

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2012 6:18 AM
Kidnapped Chinese workers in Sudan freed: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - The 29 Chinese workers kidnapped by rebel forces in Sudan's border state of South Kordofan were released to the International Committee of the Red Cross on Tuesday, more than a week after they were abducted, state news agency Xinhua said.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry also confirmed the release.

The construction workers were captured on January 28 -- apparently held as pawns in a dispute between Sudan and rebels allied with the newly independent and oil-rich South Sudan.

It marked the third case of abduction of Chinese in Sudan since 2004 and highlights the risks to China's expanding economic footprint in Africa in search of minerals and energy.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ben Blanchard)