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Sudan, Chad Search for Kidnapped Chinese Worker Along Border

Sudanese and Chadian forces are searching for a Chinese engineer who was kidnapped in Chad and is being held in a town along the border with Sudan’s western region of Darfur, a Sudanese army spokesman said.

An unidentified armed group abducted the Chinese worker in the town of Bahai inside Chad and took him to Sharq al-Teyna, spokesman al-Sawarmi Khaled said today by phone from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. The worker, who is employed by China’s CGC Overseas Construction Co. Ltd., was seized two to three days before Sept. 8 while on his way to a building site in northern Chad, Xinhua reported today, citing Yang Guangyue, the Chinese ambassador to Chad.

“There is no contact with the captors,” Khaled said.

Bandits and armed groups have targeted aid agencies and members of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, where a seven-year conflict between the government and rebel groups has triggered an international humanitarian operation.

As many as 300,000 people have died, mainly due to illness and starvation, and about 2.7 million people were displaced from their homes during the conflict, according to UN estimates. Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir’s government puts the death toll at about 10,000.

A 36-year-old woman from California working for Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian aid group, was released Aug. 30 after spending more than 100 days in captivity in Darfur.

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