At Least 3 Chinese Kidnapped in Colombia

Posted June 9th, 2011 at 8:10 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Leftist rebels in Colombia have kidnapped four Chinese oil workers in southern Caqueta province.

Both the Colombian and Chinese governments confirmed the incident Wednesday. Officials said the kidnapping took place Tuesday when armed men forced the workers out of their vehicle at gunpoint near the town of San Vicente de Caguan.

The Colombian driver of the vehicle was taken but later set free. Colombian officials say they are investigating, and that they suspect the FARC rebel group, which is notorious for using kidnappings for money or political gain.

The abductees are employees of the British-owned Emerald Energy, an affiliate of China's state-owned Sinochem company.

In March, FARC rebels kidnapped more than 20 Canadian employees of Canada's Talisman Energy who were working in Colombia. They were released hours later.

FARC is Colombia's largest rebel group. It has been fighting the government since the 1960s. Colombia, the United States and the European Union have designated the FARC as a terrorist organization.