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Sudan says 12 Chinese are freed<p></p>

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudanese officials said today that 14 Chinese road workers were freed by Sudan's military, two days after they were reportedly abducted by militants in a remote region in the country's south. The Chinese embassy said that a total of 29 had disappeared.

State-run Radio Omdurman quoted South Kordofan governor Ahmed Mohamed Haroun as saying that Sudanese forces "liberated" the workers, who were in good health.

The report, which was also carried by Sudan's SUNA news agency, said that the army was searching for the remaining missing workers.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman said Sunday that the northern branch of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, a guerrilla force which has fought for decades against Khartoum regimes, had announced that it carried out the abductions. It wasn't clear if the militants had demanded conditions for their return.

The militants have fought against Sudan and hail from a minority ethnic group now in control of much of South Sudan, which became the world's newest country only six months ago in a breakaway from Sudan.

China has sent large numbers of workers to potentially unstable regions such as Sudan.

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