The Latest: Burundi team may have disappeared on own accord

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jul. 20, 2017 at 12:57 p.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Burundi teenagers gone missing from international robotics competition in Washington, D.C. (all times local):

3 p.m.

Organizers of a robotics competition say six teenagers from Burundi who went missing at the conclusion of the event may have "self-initiated" their disappearance.

The team members' chaperone filed missing-person reports after the teens could not be found at the conclusion of the international event Tuesday evening in Washington.

On Thursday, a statement from the event organizer, FIRST Global, said the chaperone was caught off guard. First Global said the group may have self-initiated the disappearance, noting that the students had taken all their clothes from the dormitory where they had been staying.

Police say two of the six were seen crossing the border into Canada and that they have no indication of foul play.

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11:10 a.m.

Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown says they have received reports that two of the Burundi teenagers gone missing after an international robotics competition in Washington have been seen crossing the border into Canada.

She says the whereabouts of their team members is unknown, and that the search for all the teens remains ongoing, but she stresses that police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance.

Brown says the teens in Canada have been identified as 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi.

Police tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens last seen in the area of the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday's final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four males ranging in age from 16 to 18.

The competition, designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science, attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations.

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7:50 a.m.

Six teenage members of the Burundi robotics team were reported missing after competing in an international competition this week in Washington.

Police tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens last seen in the area of the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday's final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four males ranging in age from 16 to 18.

The competition, designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science, attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations. A squad of girls from Afghanistan drew the most attention after they were twice rejected for U.S. visas and President Donald Trump intervened.

Competition organizers learned Tuesday night that the team's mentor couldn't find the six students who participated in the competition and organization President FIRST Global President Joe Sestak made the initial call to the police, according to a FIRST Global Challenge statement.

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The Associated Press

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