Two suspects were detained in connection to the slaying of 11 Chinese workers in Afghanistan.
Interrogations were ongoing Friday, Afghan Army General Mohammand Daud told China's ambassador to Afghanistan, Sun Yuxi. The investigation was ongoing.
"We have taken two attackers into custody so far and we are hopeful to arrest their three accomplices soon," General Mohammad Daud said on Friday.
As a result of a cold-blooded attack committed by a group of armed men early Thursday morning on the sound sleeping Chinese workers' compound in Jalowgir area 36 kilometers away from Kunduz city, 11 workers were killed and four others were injured.
Remains of the 11 dead were transferred to Kabul by Afghan military helicopters. They were kept temporarily at the Kabul Army Hospital, said a source form the construction company.
The four injured will be transferred by a German C-130 aircraft to a German medical facility in the capital for further treatment.
The general termed the number of attackers as high as five, saying all those involved in the heinous crime will be awarded exemplary punishment.
However, he declined to identify the name or group or political affiliation of the suspects arrested in this connection.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the bloody attack on the Chinese workers.
"This attack is the work of the enemies of Afghanistan who want to derail the process of national reconstruction in Afghanistan and this will not be tolerated," President Karzai said in the press release on Friday morning.
"On behalf of the people and government of Afghanistan, I would like to present my deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, the Chinese people and government," Karzai said.
At the President's order, a special investigation has been launched to bring those responsible to justice.
Afghanistan's interior and public security ministries will send a delegation to visit the site of the attack and initiate a thorough investigation into the incident.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the terrorist attack and expressed his profound condolences to the Chinese government and to the bereaved families Friday.
"This appalling attack follows a series of other incidents directed against those working in support of the Bonn peace process," said Annan, calling on the Afghan government, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF), and Coalition forces to take necessary measures to address the security situation.
The attack, the worst against foreigners since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, incurred the first major casualties on Chinese in Afghanistan in the past two years.
Still, Sun said China will not surrender to terrorism in any form. The attack will not affect rebuilding activities in the region, Sun said.
The workers, employees of China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation (CRSGC), were taking part in a road rebuilding project.
A 14-member company work team is on the way to Kabul to handle follow-up issues.
The work team will work with the Afghan side to take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese people there.
Ten of the dead workers, aged between 31 and 56, and two of the injured were all male natives of Guangfeng County in East China's Jiangxi Province. The others were from Zhucheng in East China's Shandong Province.
The families of the 10 dead workers from Jiangxi Province are all lived in remote rural areas. The provincial and local municipal governments have offered 4,000 yuan (US$484) to each family.
Around 320 Chinese workers have been working at four sites in Afghanistan, including Parwan's irrigation canal, Kubul-Jalalabad highway, Baghlan-Kunduz road and Jamhoriat hospital in Kabul.
(China Daily June 12, 2004)