Abandoned children back in Germany after pizzeria stranding

Abandoned children back in Germany after pizzeria stranding Olpe, Germany  - Three young children - abandoned in an Italian pizzeria after their mother and her companion ran out of cash - arrived home Friday in Germany, where they have been made wards of court, authorities in the district of Olpe said.

Two child protection officials from Olpe, east of Cologne, had travelled the day before to Aosta in Italy to pick them up.

The German authorities said the boys, 10 months and 6 years old, and the girl, 4, were unharmed. The authorities had said earlier they would not be announcing the return in advance, since the news media might otherwise stake out airports to film the children.

The mother, 26, and her male companion, 24, were located in woods near Aosta on Thursday.

They explained that with no more money, they had considered themselves unable any longer to care for the children, whose biological father is serving a prison sentence for a fatal assault on the couple's fourth child.

The mother was released by Italian police, but her new partner, a prison inmate who had failed to return to his German jail from two days' furlough, remained in Italian custody Friday.

Prosecutors in the city of Siegen said they would soon apply for the man's extradition to Germany so he could be returned to jail. (dpa)