3 Chinese Oil Workers Kidnapped by Colombian Rebels


Three Chinese workers for the British oil company Emerald Energy have been taken hostage in southern Colombia, officials said Thursday, blaming the kidnapping on FARC guerillas.

A fourth foreigner, who was working as a translator, was also taken hostage, said Edilberto Ramon Henido, secretary of the local government in southern Caqueta department, but he could not confirm the man's nationality.

Citing sources in China's embassy in Bogota, the Xinhua news agency said all four men were Chinese workers for the oil company.

The kidnapping took place as the employees were travelling in a car near the town of San Vicente de Caguan, Henido said, when a group of armed men blocked the road and took them hostage.

Their Colombian driver was set free, said Henido, who blamed the kidnapping on leftist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), South America's longest running insurgency.