Chinese war correspondent finds Spanish saviors via microblog

2013-02-22 12:59:03 GMT2013-02-22 20:59:03(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese war correspondent is planning to meet three Spanish journalists who rescued him almost ten years ago during the Iraq War, after finding them through a microblog.

Hu Guoqing, a cameraman with the newspaper Hua Shang Daily in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, was photographing of a child carrying relief materials, in Umm Qasr of Iraq, when he found himself alone in a refugee populated area on March 26, 2003.

Hu was eventually saved on a highway by the three Spanish journalists who were driving past. He took a group photo with three Spanish journalists before he left them.

In the following ten years, Hu has tried to contact the journalists through emails and the Spanish Embassy but has failed.

On Feb. 19, Hu posted their photo on China's microblogging website and received a reply the following day.

Sergi Vicente, Spanish TV Catalonia's correspondent in China, identified one of his coworkers in the photo.

The journalist told Xinhua he is helping Hu and his colleague to get in touch with each other.

Spanish TV Catalonia's official microblog account confirmed the identity of the three. The Spanish journalists are Paco Forjas with Spanish National Radio (RNE), and Jordi Regas and Eric Van-Hooft with TV Catalonia.

Recalling the incident ten years ago, Hu said, "I was scared when thousands of refugees suddenly closed in on me, asking for money and food."

Hu did not speak the local language and could not call for help because there was no mobile phone signal.

The correspondent ran to a highway, knowing the other direction led to a minefield.

He showed his press credentials while at the roadside hoping to stop an American military vehicle. "But the car passed by without stopping," Hu said.

The correspondent then saw a car with a "TV" sign on it. "I ran to the middle of the road and got in the car."

Refugees following him took two boxes of food from the car trunk but luckily were unable to grab cameras and video equipment.

Badly shaken, Hu took a group photo with the Spanish journalists and gave them two Chinese scarves as thankyou gifts before saying goodbye.

After ten years and thanks to the microblog, Hu is now successful in finding his saviors. "I will go to Spain to thank them in person," he said.

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