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Police arrest two found with 9 children in bus

By | July 12th 2010 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Boniface Ongeri

Police in Garissa are holding nine children after they found them travelling without their parents or guardians.

Two people who were ferrying the children were arrested and police are interrogating them over possible child trafficking.

Garissa OCPD Richard Bitonga said the children, aged between three and nine years, were in a bus travelling from Ifo, Garissa to Nairobi. They include five girls.

"The two men are claiming that the children’s parents, who are in Nairobi, had asked the suspects to escort them. The men in their early 20s claim that the children belong to two families," he said. The police boss said he would hold the children until they establish their parents or guardian.

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"We want anybody who might know anything about the children to come forward," he said.

He said the two men who were found with the children had Kenyan identity cards, and police were investigating whether they were genuine.

"The officers at the Garissa-Tana River Bridge police check became suspicious with the large number of children who were not accompanied by their parents. We have heard of people sneaking into the country with two or three children, and when asked, they claim parental connection. We are investigating possible child trafficking," he said.

Separately, four people were killed after a lorry they were travelling in rolled at Sankuri Division in Garissa.

Six people including an Administration Police officer heading for leave were seriously injured, Bitonga said.

The lorry was transporting beans from Moyale to Nairobi, when one of the front tyres burst, leading to the crash. The driver and the turnboy survived with minor injuries.

In another incident, police arrested 10 refugees after a day long chase in Kabobey. The refugees were crammed in a taxi, which had declined to stop when flagged down.

The OCPD said the driver of the taxi was also arrested.

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