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Kids missing after outing with estranged father

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08:47 CEST+02:00
Swedish police have issued a nationwide alert after two young children and their estranged father went missing on Saturday during a supervised visit to a popular Stockholm tourist attraction.

The two children, 5-year-old Ali and 7-year-old Amina, were visiting the Junibacken museum with their father Osama, the third such supervised visit they've had with him since June.

The children's parents have been embroiled in a bitter custody battle since separating from one another in 2007.

“I just wanted my children back right now,” the children's mother Anna, who has custody of Ali and Amina, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The mother's attorney, Ia Sweger, told the newspaper that her client's ex-husband had been handed a suspended sentence and fined for threatening the children's mother and her new boyfriend last year.

The children have been living with their mother since May at an unlisted address.

But on a blog he maintains to highlight his struggle for his children, Osama claims that his ex-wife Anna took his children from him with Sweger's help and that preparations began back in the summer of 2009.

He claims as well that her daughter was abused at the hands of his ex-wife's boyfriend.

According to information on his blog, the children's father came to Sweden from Iraq in 1997 and met his now ex-wife in Stockholm in 1999.

He took Swedish citizenship in 2003, but has kept his Iraqi passport, raising fears on the part of his ex-wife, a native of Piteå in northern Sweden, that her ex-husband might attempt to flee with the children to Iraq.

“The whole time I've tried to get the authorities to understand that he could the kids and that it's not enough to have one person as a supervisor,” Anna told DN.

But Osama claims that the notion he might flee to Iraq is a fabrication and that he has been discriminated against because of his background.

“An Iraqi non-practicing Muslim man with a name that people associate with one of our times biggest terrorists doesn't have the same chances as a Swedish, unreligious woman,” he writes.

The man's most recent blog post, dated October 7th, is a copy of a complaint letter he sent two days earlier to the Swedish Bar Association (Sveriges Advokatsamfundet) questioning Sweger's credibility and professional competence.

Speaking with DN, Sweger disputed the version of events presented by her client's ex husband.

“None of it's true,” she said.

Swedish police on Saturday issued an arrest warrant for Osama, who is suspected of arbitrary conduct with a child. Authorities in Denmark, Norway, and Finland have been alerted, as has Interpol, according to the Expressen newspaper.

On Sunday, the children's father updated his blog and explained that his kids were safe and that he had no intention of leaving Sweden.

"I had a great time with my kids today; it's the first time in 190 days that the children have slept in my arms," he wrote.

According to the Stockholm police, Amina was last seen wearing a red Hello Kitty dress and a black jacket, black boots, a red ribbon and a gray stocking hat. Ali had on jeans and a dark blue coat, tennis shoes and blue and orange stocking hat.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call the police tipline at 114 14.

 

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