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Boy, 2, found safe after abduction alert triggered

Child kidnapped in Marseille found in Drôme

A two-year-old boy has been found safe and well after he was abducted from Marseille on Sunday afternoon.

The child was found in a hotel in Valence, Drôme, after authorities triggered an 'abduction alert'. A 35-year-old man was taken into custody, when the hotel's nightwatchman saw the alert, recognised the child, and contacted police.

The boy had been taken from outside a prayer room in the city centre at about 12.40pm. He was then spotted, in the company of a man who his mother did not recognise, at Saint-Charles railway station shortly before 3pm. He was recovered in Valence late at night.

It is the 23rd time authorities in France have triggered an abduction alert - similar to the Amber Alert in the US - has been triggered since the system was introduced in 2006. In all 23 cases, the subject of the alert has been found safe and well within a matter hours.

An alert is only activated if police have evidence that a child has been abducted and it is suspected that they are in danger. The first time it was triggered turned out to be a false alarm as the sisters police feared had been taken returned home 15 hours later of their own accord.

Prior to this latest incident, the most recent alert was in January 2018, when a two-month-old baby was taken from a hospital in Toulouse, where he was being fed by a gastric tube. The baby was found, safe, the following day.

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