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29 Apr, 2008 00:39

Police fear Urals kids kidnapped

Concerns are growing for the safety of two missing children from the city of Ekaterinburg in Russia's Urals. Investigators fear the brother and sister may have been kidnapped. An investigation has been launched, but little is known so far.

It's been more than a week since Salima Mirzobakieva’s ten-year-old son and five-year-old daughter went missing.

Police are combing a nearby forest together with emergency services and armed forces.

“We’ve got nothing new yet, we don’t know where the kids are. There are three main possibilities. Firstly, the children might have escaped; secondly, they might have had an accident and thirdly – and this is the most likely scenario – they might have been kidnapped,” said Konstantin Farberov, from the Investigation Department.

Salima left her children to go to a job interview. When she got back, they were no longer there. Now psychics are the desperate woman's only hope. She has already sent them photos of her little boy and girl.

Child disappearances are becoming more common in Russia. According to Interior Ministry statistics, twelve to sixteen thousand children go missing each year. While many leave home deliberately, a third are kidnapped and held for ransom, used as beggars or for sex.