UN patrol finds migrant child in buffer zone, sister missing

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A three-year-old girl was found wandering alone in the buffer zone near Athienou by a UN patrol pre-dawn Tuesday while the peacekeeping force was assisting the search for her missing twin sister.

According to Cyprus police, it was informed of the incident by the United Nations, which reported the child’s parents are also looking for their second child.

The parents, reportedly migrants from Pakistan, told Turkish Cypriot authorities that they had lost their children in the buffer near Athienou, Larnaca, when trying to cross over into the Republic.

The family attempted to cross from the Turkish occupied north to the south through the UN-patrolled buffer zone but lost their children in the dark.

A UN patrol found the little girl at around 4 am on Tuesday; she was cold, wet, and scared and taken to Athienou Police station.

Officers notified the Republic’s social services, who now have the girl in their care, pending further investigation.

UN soldiers are helping police search the area for the girl’s missing sister.

UNFICYP Spokesman Aleem Siddique said: “We are supporting the local police services searching for a missing girl child inside the buffer zone, near Athienou.”