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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 June, 2004, 01:05 GMT 02:05 UK
Colombian baby 'stolen from womb'
Colombian police say they have arrested a woman for stealing an unborn baby from its mother's womb.

The woman faces charges of drugging the child's mother and leading her to a house where her womb was cut open.

Police say the operation to remove the eight-month-old foetus may have been performed with a kitchen knife.

The baby - found with the alleged kidnapper - has been re-united with its true mother, who had been left for dead in the central town of Girardot.

'Not acting alone'

She managed to summon help, despite bleeding heavily from the surgery.

"When I felt my belly, it was empty," Angela Cartagena told a local television station from her hospital bed. "And the baby was crying and crying."

The mother said she remembers seeing the kidnapper leave with her baby wrapped in cloth.

Police believe the kidnapper was not acting alone and are hunting for her accomplices.

They arrested their suspect after tests showed a newly-born baby she claimed as her own was not hers.

Kidnapping is rife in Colombia, mostly carried out for ransom by armed criminals or soldiers from one of several guerrilla forces fighting the state.


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