More than a thousand Chinese workers are said to be stuck at a construction site in the conflict zone in northern Iraq, where Islamist fighters have seized significant territory, Global Times reported Wednesday.
A Chinese businessman in Baghdad was quoted as saying that workers from China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) who are working on a power plant project at Samarra in Salaheddin Province have been stranded due to battles between government forces and militants.
The plant contract was signed in December 2012 and is worth more than 1.85 billion yuan (US$292 million), according to the report.
Representatives from CMEC’s Baghdad office tried to board a helicopter to the site in a rescue mission Tuesday but were stopped by Iraqi military personnel at Baghdad airport, who cited security concerns, the source told the paper.
The wife of one of the stranded workers wrote on her Sina Weibo account that she had lost contact with her husband since Friday and called for support from the media.
“Local translators and police have all run away. The Chinese workers were left on their own with little language capability and limited food and water,” she wrote.
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