Rebels in Sudan's South Kordofan state have captured 29 Chinese workers after a battle with government forces, a spokesman for the insurgents said on Sunday.
Nine members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) were also being held, Arnu Ngutulu Lodi of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), told AFP.
"Yes, we have captured them," he said. "I want to assure you right now they are in safe hands."
He said the Chinese have not been kidnapped and none have been wounded.
They, along with the Sudanese, were captured on Saturday when the rebels destroyed a Sudanese military convoy between Rashad town and Al-Abbasiya in the northeast of the province, which has been at war since June.
Lodi said the Chinese were working mainly on road construction in the area.
They are being held in the Nuba mountains "until further notice" because of the security situation.
"Today is a little bit calm but we are expecting at any time SAF may launch an attack on us," he said.
Spokesmen for Sudan's army and the Chinese embassy could not be immediately reached for comment.© ANP/AFP