Dramatic kidnapping closed borders

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Norwegian police ordered restrictions at all border crossings in and out of Norway after masked men kidnapped two small children in the rural district of Hadeland Tuesday morning. Two men were later arrested on the E6 highway near the Swedish border at Sarpsborg but the children were still missing Tuesday afternoon.

Police said the kidnapping was dramatic, with the masked abductors unleashing tear gas as they seized the two little girls, aged one and three, while they reportedly were visiting one of their parents in the town of Brandbu.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the kidnappers threatened the children’s mother and an employee of Norway’s children’s protective agency (Barnevernet) who apparently was supervising the visit.

Since the parents are of foreign origin, police apparently feared the kidnappers would quickly try to get the children out of the country. They quickly ordered controls at all borders and mobilized a major manhunt.

Petter Lid of the Vest Oppland Police District told news bureau NTB that they have no concrete theories as to who was behind the kidnapping. Their masks made it impossible to obtain any descriptions from either the children’s mother or the child welfare officer.

The children’s parents live in Vest Oppland and Østfold, reported newspaper Dagbladet.

The kidnappers sped off with the children in a Swedish-registered blue Saab, license number BJS 169, registered to a man in Norsborg, outside of Stockholm. No warrant had been issued for him, however, as of early Tuesday afternoon.

The men arrested were driving the dark blue Saab, which police had put out a warrant for throughout most of Europe. Both are from Iraq but it was unclear whether they were related to the girls.

Views and News staff