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Eight foreign kids in care in Northern Ireland have gone missing since 2005, health trust reveals

By Cate McCurry

Published 01/06/2016

Disappeared: Zahra Abdi
Disappeared: Zahra Abdi

Eight children who have been living in Northern Ireland after leaving their home countries have gone missing while they were in the care system here.

All the missing children were classed as "separated children" - children outside their home country and separated from their parents or legal guardian.

The term is also used to describe unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and trafficked children.

Freedom of Information requests by BBC Spotlight show that 49 separated children were dealt with by health trusts across Northern Ireland since 2010.

Children from Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Vietnam and North Korea are among those who travelled to Northern Ireland without their families.

According to the Health and Social Care Board, eight children have gone missing since 2005 and remain missing.

The Spotlight investigation, which aired Tuesday night, looked in detail at the cases of two of the missing children.

Both are Somali girls, Nadra Ali and Zahra Abdi, who disappeared weeks after arriving in Belfast, almost seven years apart.

The PSNI said it has no leads in either case.

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