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Missing Tajik Girls' Case Said To Be Kidnapping

A missing persons poster for 5-year-old Malika Aralova in Russian and Tajik
DUSHANBE -- A Tajik Interior Ministry official says two girls missing for almost a month will soon be returned to their parents.

Jumahon Karimov, deputy chief of the ministry's department for fighting human trafficking, told journalists in Dushanbe on April 23 that investigators now knew the whereabouts of the two missing girls.

He added that it was now classified as a kidnapping rather than a missing-persons case. He gave no other details on the situation.

Cousins Sabina and Malika Aralova, age 4 and 5, disappeared after they went outside to play in Dushanbe's Aini district on March 25.

Karimov said that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Interpol had been involved in the investigation into the disappearance of the children.