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NATIONAL BRIEFING / ARKANSAS

Officials seize 20 more youths

November 20, 2008|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Stories of alleged beatings and sexual abuse prompted state child-welfare officials to take custody of 20 more children associated with the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, an official said. Meanwhile, authorities confirmed that a federal arrest warrant had been issued for a man accused of being Alamo's brutal enforcer.

The children -- 11 boys and 9 girls, ages from 1 to 17 -- were taken into state care while hearings are held on whether six girls seized in September should remain under state protection or be returned to their parents, a Department of Human Services spokeswoman said. The children picked up Tuesday showed no immediate signs of poor health and did not require medical attention.

Alamo was arrested by the FBI in September, days after his compound in Fouke, Ark., was raided by state and federal agents. The six girls seized at that time, ages 10 to 17, were taken for their protection, officials said.

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