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48 minors recovered from prostitution rings: FBI

US authorities recovered 48 minors from child prostitution rings in a series of raids across the country over a three day period, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2009 10:54 IST

US authorities recovered 48 minors from child prostitution rings in a series of raids across the country over a three day period, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The bureau said 571 people were arrested on charges of trafficking children for prostitution and solicitation as a result of the operation.

"We continue to pursue those who exploit our nation's children," said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

"We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence."

Dubbed Operation Cross Country III, the operation was carried out in 29 cities by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies.

The operation "led to the recovery of 48 children being prostituted domestically," the FBI said on Monday.

It was the outgrowth of an initiative begun in 2003 to bring together state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and social service agencies to focus on the problem.

The task forces have recovered 670 children since then, the FBI said.