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Cameroon urged to protect Chinese

Updated: 2014-05-19 09:17
( China Daily/Xinhua)

The Chinese embassy in Cameroon is urging authorities in the west Central African nation to use caution if attempts are made to free 10 Chinese nationals believed abducted Friday during an attack on a Chinese company's camp in northern Cameroon.

One Chinese national was wounded by gunfire in the attack by an unidentified armed group and 10 others were missing.

"We urge the Cameroonian authorities not to put the lives of the Chinese nationals missing in danger if actions to liberate them are launched," said embassy political counselor Lu Qingjiang.

"We contacted the Cameroonian authorities and asked them to take effective measures to locate our (missing) compatriots and guarantee the safety of Chinese nationals in the region," Lu said.

Embassy officials have been sent to the site, which is more than 1,500 km north of the capital, Yaounde.

The wounded Chinese national was out of danger, providing that no complications arise, said Lan Ronghe, the vice-general manager of the Cameroon subsidiary of China's Sinohydro Bureau 16.

"Friday night at around 9:20 local time, our staff, 52 in total including two women, heard gunshots and grenades outside the camp. We immediately put out all lights and ordered all personnel to take shelter in their rooms," Lan said.

"The armed attackers forced their way into the camp, raided a housing building and started all 10 vehicles parked in the camp," he said.

"Around 12:30 Saturday morning, all sound of firing faded out, so we got out of the shelter to count the toll," Lan said.

Although no organization had claimed responsibility, reports said Boko Haram rebels from Nigeria might be behind the attack.

Reuters quoted a Cameroon regional governor as saying Saturday that suspected Boko Haram rebels attacked the site near the town of Waza, 20 km from the Nigerian border and close to the Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold.

AFP also reported that Boko Haram gunmen carried out the attack, quoting an official in Waza as saying "the Boko Haram militants were heavily armed; they came in five vehicles".

Xinhua in Yaounde, Cameroon