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Old 10-05-2014, 10:22 PM   #59
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Arrow Cairo

CAIRO, May 15 2009 (IPS) - A surge in reports of missing children has set off alarm across the Egyptian countryside.‘Provinces on fire with kidnapping rumours; every day more stories of missing children’, read the May 1 headline of independent daily Al-Dustour..

For months now, the independent press has been carrying reports of the disappearance of young children, mostly from Egypt’s rural provinces. On Apr. 11 2 children from the Sharqiya province vanished without a trace; on Apr. 28, 4 young children – 3 of them under 6 years old – were reported missing in the northern city Mansoura. Dozens of other cases have been reported through this period..

According to sources cited in the local press, the cases have been most frequent in 4 Nile Delta provinces – Daqliya, Qalioubiya, Sharqiya and Gharbia – in addition to the Upper Egyptian provinces Minya and Beni Sueif. Precise numbers are difficult to ascertain, but 10 children reportedly went missing in the Upper Egyptian city Sohag – just south of Minya – in March alone..

“The streets of Sharqiya are plastered with photos of missing children, while schools are seeing absentee rates of up to 70 percent due to kidnapping fears,” Al-Dustour reported Apr. 17. “Imams at local mosques are warning parents not to leave their children unattended..
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