China has expressed outrage at the killing of nine of its nationals in the Central African Republic.
The Chinese were killed in an attack by militants at a gold mine outside the capital city, Bangui.
The victims are said to have been working in a goldmine run by the Gold Coast Group.
Gunmen stormed the gold mining site to carry out the attacks but later in a statement accused Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group of being behind the violence.
Days earlier gunmen kidnapped three Chinese nationals in the country’s west near the border with Cameroon.
Chinese President Xi Jinping condemned the killing and called for “severe punishment” for the perpetrators, a statement from the foreign ministry said on Monday.
The Chinese embassy in the African country has also said in a statement that there have several “vicious” security incidents against workers of foreign mining enterprises in the area.
It said Chinese citizens still outside Bangui were requested to evacuate immediately.
The mayor of the central Bembari town where the incident took place told the AFP news agency that they “counted nine bodies and two wounded” in the attack on Sunday.
Ange Morel Gbatangue, a resident of Bambari is quoted by a reporting by Africa News that “The government is having difficulty proving its ability to protect Central Africans and foreigners living in the country.”
The Central African Republic has been plagued by violence and insecurity since a civil war broke out in 2013.