BEIJING — China expressed concern Tuesday about the safety of Chinese citizens and businesses in Libya after one of its construction companies was reportedly looted and its workers run off by gunmen.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters at a regular news briefing that some Chinese citizens have been injured amid the unrest and businesses damaged.
Ma urged Libya to "restore social stability and normalcy as soon as possible and spare no effort to protect the safety of Chinese people, organizations and assets in Libya."
Unidentified gunmen entered a construction site in the northeastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya on Sunday night, looted computers and other goods and drove off the 1,000 workers employed by the China Huafeng Company, said reports on the Sina.com web site and in other media.
The China Youth Daily and other state media said some 30,000 Chinese nationals were in Libya.
The Chinese Embassy in Tripoli urged its citizens to be careful in the midst of the "rioting and beating, smashing, looting and arson." Ma, the government spokesman, called on Libya to investigate the attacks on Chinese interests and punishment of those involved.