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Two More International Athletes Disappear

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RALEIGH — For the second time in a week, twoSpecial Olympicsathletes are missing. Police searched Tuesday for two Moroccan soccer players who left their delegation.

World Games officials say Jamal Agbani, 23, and Naim Tanji, 21, missed a game Monday afternoon, and have not been seen since. Officials described the missing athletes as highly functional, and said they are capable of getting around safely on their own.

There is no indication of foul play, and the case is being investigated just like any other missing persons case.

The N.C. State Department of Public Safety is handling the disappearance because the Moroccan team is staying at the Bragaw residence hall on theuniversity'scampus.

"I think the coach and head of delegation get alarmed when it's several hours that they don't see an athlete," said Joe Freddoso, CEO of the World Games. "In this case, they happened to miss a competition yesterday afternoon, and immediately when the coach returned from that competition, he reported the athletes to his delegation as missing."

Although the athletes may have broken some team rules, officials say they have not violated any World Games' policies, or broken any laws.

"You are sort of limited from a law enforcement perspective," said Terry Wright with NCSU Public Safety. "You can only get the information out to surrounding agencies, and depend on the public to provide you with information."

Officers say they do not know if the athletes have friends or family members in North Carolina, or anywhere else in America.

World Games officials say this disappearance is very similar to one that happened last week in Greensboro when two athletes from the Dominican Republic apparently walked away from a group while shopping. Authorities believe the pair went to New York, but neither has been located.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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