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Two Chinese abducted in Nigeria

Gunmen have kidnapped two Chinese workers in Nigeria, China's foreign ministry said.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2007 12:22 IST

Gunmen have kidnapped two Chinese workers in Nigeria, China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday, the third such incident involving its citizens in the African nation this year.

The ministry said in a statement that the workers had been abducted on Saturday in the volatile southeastern Nigerian state of Anambra.

"The Chinese side is trying to clarify the situation and has urged the Nigerian side to exert all efforts to rescue them," said the brief statement, posted on the ministry's website.

A Nigerian government official had said yesterday that two "Asians" and a Nigerian were kidnapped over the weekend in Anambra.

The men were taken together from their factory at Nnewi, the Nigerian government spokesman said, adding that the motives for the kidnapping were not yet known.

The Chinese foreign ministry statement appeared to be referring to the same incident, although this could not be immediately confirmed.

The oil-rich Niger River Delta region has seen an upsure in kidnappings of foreigners over the past year by armed groups seeking a larger share of the country's oil wealth for delta residents.

Five Chinese telecoms workers were abducted in early January and released about two weeks later.