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Police in Afghanistan say that three Chinese citizens found dead in Kabul late last week were shot to death during a private party.

The criminal department of the Kabul police confirmed on August 11 that authorities had located the bodies of two Chinese women and one Chinese man in a Kabul apartment building on August 8.

An Afghan man, apparently a guard, was also found dead at the scene.

Sediq Sediqi, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, told reporters that the crime appeared to have taken place during a private gathering.

"The Kabul police recorded an incident, in which three Chinese nationals have been killed and this [happened] in the fourth district of the Kabul province," he said. "Apparently, after the investigation the police found that there was, there could have been an invitation by one of the Chinese nationals [for others to come and meet] and [then] this incident happened."

Two more Chinese men were abducted from the apartment, apparently by the gunmen.

Afghan officials and Chinese state media say one of the men has been found alive after jumping out of the car driven by his abductors. The other man remains missing.

China's official Xinhua news agency says those killed were engaged in a privately run, small-scale business in Afghanistan.

The news report did not provide further details about the nature of the business, and no potential motive for the killings was given.

According to Sediqi, initial reports suggest the violence could have been related to an internal feud.

"This incident is not related to an act of terrorism here or any other and no terrorist group has claimed any responsibility for this [either]," he said. "So there were two other Chinese also [participating] in this party or banquet. They have been missing for the last two days but fortunately the police were able to find one of them. S,o one of the two of those missing Chinese have been found. Currently, he is [being questioned by] the police [in order] to find out what exactly happened that night."

Attacks on Chinese citizens have risen in recent years as more Chinese travel internationally for work and tourism.

The number of Chinese living in Afghanistan has soared as Beijing has poured hundreds of millions of dollars in direct investment into Afghan copper mining and oil exploration.

Based on reporting by AP, Xinhua, CCTV, and Reuters