Eleven Chinese workers were killed in a terrorist attack in Kunduz Province in north Afghanistan Thursday morning, the Chinese Embassy in Kabul said.
The attack occurred at around 01:00 am local time (2030 GMT Wednesday) on a construction site 36 km south of the provincial capital of Kunduz when some 20 gunmen opened fire at Chinese workers and security guards, killing 10 persons on the spot and injuring five others. One of the wounded died later in the day. One local Afghan was also injured in the attack.
There was an exchange of fire between security guards and the armed gunmen.
Around 100 workers were at the site.
Many of the victims, who arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday, worked with China Railway Shisigu Group, a leading construction company engaged in road construction in post-war Afghanistan.
Renovating a hospital in the capital city, rebuilding Kabul-Jalalabad road and reconstruction of Parwan's irrigation canals are three major projects run by the Chinese firms in the post-war Afghanistan.
Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Sun Yuxi was on his way to the scene that is a 6-hour ride from capital city of Kabul. Sun has forwarded three requests to the Afghan government: provision of timely medical treatments to the injured, ensuring security to the construction sites and brining the attackers to justice.
This is the first major casualties China has encountered in the last two years.
(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2004)