China's embassy urges its citizens to avoid travelling outside the capital, Bangui, after nine of its nationals were killed in a gold mine outside the city.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for Central African Republic authorities to "severely punish" the killers of nine Chinese nationals.
Xi "has given important instructions, demanding an all-out effort to treat the wounded, handle the aftermath in a timely manner, severely punish perpetrators in accordance with the law, and ensure the safety of Chinese citizens", an unnamed China foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.
Nine Chinese nationals were killed by Armed men in an attack on a mine run by the Gold Coast Group, 25 km (15 miles) from the town of Bambari, its mayor said on Sunday, according to a report from AFP.
"We have counted nine bodies and two wounded," the mayor of Bambari, Abel Matchipata, told AFP. The attack happened around 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), he added.
The embassy said in a statement on Sunday there had been many "vicious" security incidents against workers of foreign mining enterprises in the area, and Chinese citizens still outside Bangui were requested to evacuate immediately.
At least nine Chinese nationals are killed and two others wounded after armed men stormed a Chinese-operated gold mine in the Central African Republic pic.twitter.com/ni0Y87SbCf— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 20, 2023
The ministry said it would work with governments and guide Chinese embassies and consulates to take further effective measures to fully safeguard Chinese citizens and enterprises in Africa.
There have been several attacks on Chinese nationals abroad in recent months, prompting embassies to issue warnings and safety alerts and conduct evacuations.
READ MORE: Chinese nationals killed by armed group in Central African Republic