Al-Qaeda's Algerian-based offshoot issued a threat Tuesday to target overseas Chinese in North Africa in retaliation for the deaths of Uygurs in Urumqi.

The Chinese embassy in Algeria issued a statement on its website last night, urging Chinese organizations and citizens in Algeria to be on alert.

 “we will keep a close eye on developments and make joint efforts with relevant countries to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of overseas Chinese institutions and people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

“Chinese government opposes terrorism in any form and we'd like to increase our co-operation with related countries to fight terrorism, he added.

The information we provided is very, very real, Justin Crump, head of Terrorism and Country Risk told China Daily Tuesday.

The July 5 riot in Urumqi left 184 people dead including 137 ethnic Han, 46 Uygurs and one ethnic Hui, according to government figures.

It was the first time Al-Qaeda had threatened an attack against Chinese interests overseas.