China said on Tuesday that it was making an all-out effort to rescue two Chinese engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan, and seeking to verify reports that they were seized by the Taliban.
"On January 16, two staff members of a Chinese corporation were kidnapped in Afghanistan. They were kidnapped by unknown armed forces," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters.
"The relevant departments are investigating relevant issues and verifying the situation. They are making every effort to rescue these two people and ensure their safety."
A local Afghan official said Sunday that the two engineers had been helping to build a road in northern Faryab province when they were kidnapped along with their two local drivers and two guards.
Taliban spokesman Yusuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the abduction, saying the Taliban's Islamic court, or shura, would decide on their fate.
Ma said China was seeking to verify if the kidnappers were in fact members of the hardline Islamist group.
Criminal gangs and Taliban insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners, many of them journalists, in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led operation to topple the Taliban.