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Suspected Bride-Snatchers Arrested In Kyrgyzstan

Authorties in Kyrgyzstan have arrested 11 people on suspicion of bride-snatching, an offense that was rarely prosecuted in the past.

Bishkek city police said on November 20 that six men were arrested on the basis of a complaint by a 40-year-old woman in the capital who accused them of abducting her sister for a forced marriage.

Also on November 20, officials in the northern city of Tokmok said that five local residents had been arrested for allegedly abducting an 18-year-old woman for a forced marriage.

Rights activists say about 12,000 Kyrgyz women and girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage every year.

In 2012, the government launched a campaign against the traditional practice and increased the potential punishment to 10 years in prison.

Some 20 probes into cases related to bride-snatching were launched in Kyrgyzstan last year.