Beijing: China said today 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
"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