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Maryland police link convict to decades-old case of missing girls

By Alice Popovici GAITHERSBURG, Maryland (Reuters) - Maryland police on Tuesday named a 57-year-old former carnival ride operator as a person of interest in the case of two young sisters who disappeared while going to see an Easter exhibit at a shopping mall in 1975.

Mexico launches anti-kidnapping squad after abductions soar

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's government on Tuesday created an anti-kidnapping agency after abductions soared 20 percent last year despite President Enrique Pena Nieto's vow to reduce the crime. The new department will answer to the country's interior ministry, where Pena Nieto has centered his anti-crime programs after his predecessor relied on police and the military.

Mexico targets surge of kidnappings

Mexico unveiled a new strategy on Tuesday to cut the surging number of kidnappings that are roiling the country. Last year, there was a 20 percent jump in the number of abductions, part of a crime wave that authorities are struggling to contain. The government's answer is to name a national coordinator to take on the growing kidnapping issue and coordinate related policy. "We think it is indispensable to create a specialized body to coordinate actions aimed at fighting this crime," said Monte Alejandro Rubido, head of the National Public Safety System.

Gov't unveils strategy to fight kidnapping in Mexico

Mexico City, Jan 28 (EFE).- The government said in a document published Tuesday in the Official Daily of the Federation that it created a new National Strategy against Kidnapping that includes the formation of an agency to coordinate efforts to fight this crime. The National Public Safety Council's Permanent Commission for the Prevention of Crime and Citizens Participation asked the Government Secretariat to "coordinate and monitor the actions necessary to fight the crime of kidnapping."

7 police detained in death of Mexico game show contestant

Authorities in Mexico have arrested seven police officers suspected of playing a role in the disappearance and murder of a television reality show contestant, officials said on Tuesday. Gibran David Martiz Diaz, 22, a contestant on the popular game show "La Voz Mexico," which seeks to find the country's next singing star, was found fatally shot on Saturday. His body was found along with that of another youth who had been abducted with him in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, officials said.

Two Mexican clowns detained over kidnapping

Two men who worked as clowns named "Pistachon" and "Freski Star" in western Mexico have been arrested in connection with an alleged kidnapping, authorities said Thursday. The two suspects, 21 and 22 years old, were detained along with two associates on Tuesday as they tried to collect a second payment from the family of a kidnap victim, the Michoacan state prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Media urge Syrian rebels to stop kidnappings

LONDON (Reuters) - International news organizations called on Syrian rebel leaders on Wednesday to stop armed groups kidnapping journalists, saying dozens of abductions were preventing full media coverage of the civil war. In a letter to the opposition leadership, 13 major news organizations including Reuters said they estimated that more than 30 journalists were being held in Syria:

Portuguese man kidnapped in Mozambique

Armed men have captured a Portuguese man in the Mozambican capital, police said on Monday, the latest in a series of kidnappings for ransom. Police said the 22-year-old victim, who was not named, was bundled into a car in Maputo on Saturday by up to five assailants. It was not clear whether a ransom had been demanded. "A group of unidentified individuals approached a 22-year-old... and kidnapped him," said Orlando Modumane, police spokesman for the city.

Four charged with severing penis of California marijuana dispensary owner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four people have been charged with abducting the California owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, torturing him and cutting off his penis in an attempt to force him to divulge the location of cash they mistakenly believed he had hidden in the desert. Two of the suspects, Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were arrested in the central California town Fresno, on Friday, a day after a third defendant, Hossein Nayeri, 34, was taken into custody in the Czech Republic.

Kidnapped Germans freed in Lebanon but held over 'drugs'

Two German men kidnapped in eastern Lebanon were freed on Saturday, hours after their abduction, but police immediately arrested them on drug trafficking charges, the official National News Agency reported. "The Germans abducted last night in the eastern Bekaa Valley were released today," NNA said. "After they were freed, a police unit from the Internal Security Force arrested the Germans on charges of drug trafficking, and a search for the abductors is underway," it reported.
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