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China: Iraq to Help Free Chinese Hostages


China says it has received assurances from a senior official of Iraq's interim government that authorities in Baghdad will make every possible effort to free eight Chinese construction workers abducted by insurgents in Iraq.

Chinese state media say Iraq's Deputy President Rowsch Nuri Shaways expressed regret over the kidnappings during talks with Chinese officials in Beijing.

Arab television channel Al-Jazeera broadcast a video showing the hostages Tuesday, in which their abductors threatened to kill the men unless China "clarifies its role in Iraq." Chinese officials say the men are workers who went to Iraq on their own initiative.

The official Xinhua news agency said China is working with mediators to win the release of the hostages.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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