Incident Summary:

02/10/2003: At around 11:30PM local time, an armed gang of four men stormed the residence of the Chinese Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau at his residence in the capital, Bissau, along with two other Chinese Embassy staff. The Diplomats, including the Ambassador were stabbed in a violent knife attack and beaten with iron bars. They were then taken to the Chinese Embassy at around 3:30AM local time and forced to remove cash from the Embassy safe. The armed gang were about to leave with the cash and valuables from the Ambassador's residence at around 4AM on 02/11/2003 when a special Police intervention squad arrived at the Embassy. In the ensuing gunfight, one kidnapper was killed; the other three escaped and were not captured. Guinea-Bissau's Internal Administration Minister stated that political motives could not be ruled out.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity Government of the People's Republic of China
Specific Description Chinese Ambassador and Chinese Embassy to Guinea-Bissau
Nationality of Target China
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 3
US Hostages 0
Hours of Kidnapping 4
Outcome Successful Rescue
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Melee Blunt Object
Weapon Details
Knives and iron bars were used to stab and beat the Ambassador and Embassy staff, respectively. Unknown firearms were used in the gunfight with the Guinea-Bissau Police.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) No
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) Other Crime Type
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 4
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured Unknown
"Kidnapped Diplomats Rescued," China Daily (Internet Version-WWW), February 12, 2003."
"Guinea-Bissau: Assailants attack Chinese embassy, hold ambassador hostage," RDP Africa WWW-Text, February 11, 2003."
"AFP: Chinese Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau Kidnapped by Armed Gang, Escapes Unhurt," AFP, February 11, 2003."