Chinese gunned down in Afghanistan
HONG Kong, China (CNN) -- At least 11 Chinese workers were killed when "armed terrorists" stormed a construction site in northern Afghanistan, China's state media reported.
About 20 gunmen attacked the construction site near the city of Kunduz around 1:00 a.m. Thursday (2030 GMT Wednesday), an official from the Chinese Embassy in Kabul told CNN.
Four other Chinese workers were wounded.
The construction workers were employed by the China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation.
The reason for the attack is not clear, the embassy official said.
Xinhua reported that about 100 Chinese workers had arrived at the Kunduz site only two days earlier.
Terror attacks on Chinese are rare even though Beijing backed the U.S.-led war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
However, China has expressed misgivings over the war in Iraq.
"These are the first major casualties China has encountered in the last two years," the Xinhua report said without elaborating.
Three Chinese technicians were killed and 11 people wounded when in a car bombing at one of Pakistan's biggest construction projects last month.
In April, seven Chinese construction workers were taken hostage in Fallujah, Iraq but released unharmed 36 hours later.
China has agreed to write off debts owed by Afghanistan and has pledged to help the war-ravaged nation rebuild a major irrigation project near Kabul.