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Child elopers' Africa plan foiled

"Witness" Anna-Bell (l), with the happy couple: Anna-Lena (c) and Mika
The three were trying to travel without passports or money

Two German children - aged five and six - have been stopped by police from eloping to Africa to tie the knot in the sun, reports say.

The budding lovebirds, identified as Mika and Anna-Lena, packed bathing costumes, sunglasses and a lilo and headed for the airport.

They even had the presence of mind to invite along an official witness - Anna-Lena's seven-year-old sister.

The three got as far as Hanover railway station before police intervened.

The young couple were "very much in love" and had decided to get married in Africa "where it is warm", police spokesman Holger Jureczko told the AFP news agency.

Sun-seekers

The idea for the getaway wedding was born as the children's families celebrated New Year's eve together and Mika regaled the two girls with stories of a recent holiday to Italy.

They can still put their plan into action at a later date
Holger Jureczko
Hanover police spokesman

The following morning, as their parents slept, the intrepid trio walked 1km (0.6 miles) to the local tram station at Langenhagen, where they hopped aboard a tram for Hanover central station.

But the group aroused the suspicion of a guard as they waited for a train to the airport, and police were called in.

Officers persuaded the children they would not get far without tickets and money, but consoled them with a free tour of the police station, where they were shortly picked up by relieved parents.

Although any marriage plans have been put on hold for now, police did not altogether rule out the possibility of an African wedding.

"They can still put their plan into action at a later date," AFP quoted the spokesman as saying.

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