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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Chinese workers freed in Ethiopia
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Seven Chinese oil workers kidnapped by rebels in Ethiopia have been released and handed to the Red Cross, Red Cross officials and the rebels said.

Two Ethiopian oil workers were also released, an Ogaden National Liberation Front spokesman said, adding all were in good health.

The men were seized during a rebel attack on a Chinese oil installation in eastern Ethiopia.

During the attack, nine Chinese and 65 Ethiopians were killed.

The clashes took place at an oil field in Abole, a small town about 120km (75 miles) from the regional capital, Jijiga.

'Safe and well'

Abdirahman Mahdi, a London-based spokesman for the ONLF, said the seven Chinese were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross together with one Somali and an Ethiopian.

OGADEN NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT (ONLF)
ONLF fighters
Want Somali-speaking region to break away from Ethiopia
Founded in 1984
Has been accused of bomb attacks in Somali region and the capital, Addis Ababa
Fought major battles with Ethiopian government in 2006

"They are safe and well they are now on their way to Jijiga," he said.

He added they had also been given new clothes by his movement.

He said a temporary ceasefire with the Ethiopians had been arranged to facilitate the transfer.

China has strongly condemned the rebel attack.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, denounced the attack as "cold-blooded murder".

The group said the attack was on the Ethiopian army who they accused of clearing the area of nomadic Somalis.

The ONLF has warned foreign companies against working with the Ethiopian government to exploit the region's natural resources.

It has in the past made threats against foreign companies working with the Ethiopian government.




SEE ALSO
Summit shows China's Africa clout
06 Nov 06 |  Business
Country profile: Ethiopia
02 Mar 07 |  Country profiles



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