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Two Ethiopian runners abscond during Jerusalem Marathon

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Ethiopian runners who traveled to Israel for last Friday’s Jerusalem Marathon absconded during the race in a suspected effort to stay in the country indefinitely.

The two women, Malet Mekonen, 24, and Mahalat Zalika, 25, were seen at the starting line but did not finish the race. They are believed to have planned their getaway and gone to south Tel Aviv, according to reports. 

About 20,000 people participated in the marathon, including 1,750 runners from outside Israel.

 
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