Five of nine Chinese oil workers kidnapped in Sudan were killed by their captors on Monday, Reuters reported, citing the Sudanese Foreign Ministry. Two others, held for more than a week, have escaped, and two more are still being held. The ministry blamed the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a Darfur rebel group, for the killings. A London-based JEM official denied the group was involved. The nine workers were seized near a small oil field where they were doing contract work for the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC). The company is a consortium led by China’s CNPC. The government said the kidnappers had demanded that Chinese oil firms leave the region.