6 people, including 4 Chinese, kidnapped in DR Congo

Cathy Ngan Liang, CNN • Updated 9th September 2018

( CNN ) — Five Chinese nationals are missing after they were kidnapped by armed men after an attack on their vehicle on the road from Goma to Goma, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Chinese embassy in the country said Thursday.

Vincent Grolleche, press officer of the Chinese embassy in the Republic of Congo, said five Chinese nationals were working for mining firm China Minmetals, which is based in Goma. He identified them as Vice President Lin Kuting and three other men.

They were on their way to a mining facility in the village of Sudhangui when they were ambushed, Grolleche said. The group consisted of five men and two women.

All five were traveling in a private Chinese vehicle, he said.

Four other people, including the two women, were wounded in the attack, but only one person, a Chinese-Congolese working for China Minmetals, was killed, Grolleche said.

The Chinese embassy was in contact with their employees’ families, and was arranging for the Chinese authorities in Congo to take immediate action to help return them home, Grolleche said.

Congo has been fighting a rebellion since September 2016, when General Laurent Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) reorganized into the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The ADF has been accused of carrying out violence ranging from child trafficking to recruiting child soldiers in eastern Congo.

The deaths took place near the Barikubaru DR Congo gold mine where two Chinese engineers working for China Minmetals were kidnapped in 2015. The Chinese government paid a ransom of $10 million for the two workers, and the two released soon after.

The attack came just hours after soldiers from DR Congo’s Operation Mbuji Mayi, which is protecting a mining facility in Sudhangui, clashed with armed men.

At least six people died and 15 were wounded, including three police officers, according to Bruno Tshikumba, the spokesman for the Congolese intelligence service.

“During the clash, at least two rebels were killed,” Tshikumba said.

Ten vehicles were set on fire during the fighting, and the attackers also torched police station, the spokesman said.

Congo’s armed forces called for calm after the attack and set up a task force to investigate.

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