Chinese rescue group arrives in Nigeria

Updated: 2007-01-07 08:59

A Chinese rescue group arrived in Port Harcourt, the capital of Nigeria's south state of Rivers, Saturday afternoon to seek release of five Chinese workers who were kidnapped Friday morning.

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The group, which arrived in the airport at about 4:30 p.m. (1530 GMT) "aims to coordinate with the Nigerian government and police on earlier release of the five Chinese workers from a Chinese telecommunication company," said Wang Lei, head of the rescue group, to Xinhua on phone.

The group is made up of staff from Chinese embassy and the telecommunication company.

Wang, who is also political councilor of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, said the Nigerian government and police had promised to do their best to rescue the hostages.

He quoted Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, permanent secretary of the Nigerian Foreign Ministry, as saying that "the Nigerian government feels very sorry over the kidnapping of Chinese workers in the Niger Delta."

Ahmed also said that the Nigerian government would use all kinds of sources and make all efforts to establish contacts with the kidnappers to rescue the Chinese workers and would also report developments of rescue action.

The permanent secretary also conveyed Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo's great concern on the incident, saying that Obasanjo had directed the security department and related agencies to conduct the rescue action right now.

The Nigerian police started searching for the five people Friday afternoon. So far no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and nobody knows the hideout of the kidnappers.

The police have now started a bigger-scale researching action, said Ireju Barasua, public relations officer of the Rivers State Police Command.

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