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PESHAWAR: A kidnapping gang involved in the abduction of newborn babies from maternity homes and hospitals in Peshawar was busted by police on Friday. Six gang members were arrested.

Senior Superintendent Police Operations Abbas Majeed Marwat said that government hospital staff, including nurses, doctors, lady health visitors, and others were all involved in the abductions.

Police raided a house in the Dabgari area of the provincial capital after receiving intelligence about the gang and arrested a woman named Wajiha who was involved in the abductions.

The woman led police to five other members of the gang who were also taken into custody.

The gang confessed to selling nine newborn babies at prices ranging from Rs70,000 to Rs300,000.

In recent weeks, the issue of child abductions in the country has come to the forefront, with reports of several such incidents coming from Punjab.

Take a look: Punjab CM orders polygraph tests of recovered children

In a recent report presented by Punjab Police to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, it was claimed that by July this year, 767 children in Punjab alone had gone missing and 722 of them had been recovered or had returned to their homes. Some 45 children have not been recovered.

The Punjab government has as a result developed a website aimed at assisting the rescue of missing children across the province.

The Punjab Information Technology Board’s initiative, Missing Children Recovery, has a database with details of children who have been rescued by the provincial government with cooperation of Child Protection and Welfare Bureau.

The initiative has been taken to bring down the alarming increase in cases of child abduction in Punjab.