RAS AL KHAIMAH // Three small girls who went missing on RAK's Old Corniche were found safe and sound in a shopping mall on Sunday night, after police launched a rescue operation on air, sea and land. A police helicopter, coast guard vessels and search-and-rescue operations were involved in the quest to find the girls, who had disappeared when the father of one of the children left them briefly to buy them sweets. When he returned to the beach, his four-year-old daughter, 10-year-old niece and his neighbour's daughter, age 8, were nowhere in sight.
Fearing that the girls had drowned or been abducted, he reported the incident to RAK police. Their search lasted until 12.30am, when a police officer located the girls, safe and unharmed. Police said it was a reminder to parents to keep a watchful eye on their children. "The past months have seen an increase in crimes against children," said Lt Col Salem bin Rabea, the deputy chief of the Old RAK police station.