Beijing: Nigeria has released around 70 Chinese who were arrested for illegally living and working in the country, a Chinese foreign ministry official said Thursday.
Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Chinese were arrested by Nigeria`s immigration authority, a news agency reported.
The Chinese embassy and General Consulate were negotiating on the issue, he said, adding that Nigeria has been urged to handle the case carefully according to law.
The embassy would continue to offer consular assistance to those who may face repatriation, he said.
Earlier, the Shanghai Daily reported that 45 Chinese -- 34 men and 11 women -- were arrested Tuesday in a textile market in northern Kano state in a government crackdown on illegal migrants.
They were arrested for their involvement in illegal textile trade, and for taking jobs that belonged to local Nigerians, said the chief of the immigration department in Kano.
But the Nigerian official denied the crackdown was targeted just at Chinese people.