UPDATE: 11:40 a.m. EDT -- Police confirmed at least two of the missing teenagers from the Burundi robotics team were in Canada, according to the Washington Post. The remaining four were not in danger.

Six teens from Burundi, Africa went missing following a robotics competition in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. The team's mentor noticed they were gone and notified the event's organizers and police, who promptly mounted a search for the teens.

Original story:

Six teenage members of a robotics team from Burundi, Africa, vanished this week after a competition in Washington, D.C. The team’s mentor reported them missing after being unable to find them after the final matches Tuesday evening.

The missing team members were identified by police as Richard Irakoze, 18, Kevin Sabumukiza, 17, Nice Munezero, 17, Aristide Irambona, 18, Don Ingabire, 16, and Audrey Mwamikazi, 17. The team’s mentor, Canesius Bindaba, said he thought the teens had attended closing ceremonies for the FIRST Global Challenge competition Tuesday, which began at around 5:30 p.m.

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“FIRST Global learned the adult mentor of Team Burundi is unable to find the group of six students who participated in the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge,” Jose P. Escotto, an organization spokesman, said Thursday. “The proper reports have been submitted to the police who are investigating the case.”

Bindaba notified FIRST Global of the disappearances and FIRST Global President Joe Sestak then called police. Bindaba said the teens had traveled from Burundi for the competition and had one-year visas, according to the missing person’s report. Police searched Constitution Hall for any trace of the teens but did not find them, according to the Washington Post.

“Security of the students is of paramount importance to FIRST Global,” the event organizers said in a statement. “FIRST Global ensures that all students get to their dormitories after the daily competition by providing safe transportation to the students staying at Trinity Washington University who are always to be under close supervision of their adult mentor and are advised not to leave the premises unaccompanied by the mentor.”

The current state of Burundi, however, is fraught with human rights violations and dangerous conditions, according to the United States Department of State. Following a controversial third term by President Pierre Nkurunziza, the country spiraled into chaos. The government issued a warning in June cautioning U.S. citizens against traveling to Burundi “due to political tensions, political and criminal violence and the potential for civil unrest.”

“The political situation in Burundi is tenuous, and there is sporadic violence throughout the country, including frequent gunfire and grenade attacks by armed groups,” the U.S. State Department's warning said. “Rebel forces, ex-combatants and youth gangs have crossed into Burundi from the Democratic Republic of Congo and attacked and kidnapped civilians.”

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Human rights organizations have issued reports about the current state of Burundi as well.

“Security forces and members of the youth wing of the ruling party, the Imbonerakure, target opponents and perceived opponents who they kill, rape, torture, forcibly disappear, or ill-treat,” Human Rights Watch said in its 2017 World Report. “The ruling party has banned the most prominent Burundian human rights organizations… The justice system is deeply manipulated by the ruling party and impunity is widespread.”

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