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Missing Afghan students safe as rest leave NY

PITTSFORD — The group of Afghan students who took part in an upstate New York college program is ready to head home — minus three members who went AWOL last month.

Soon after they went missing from Nazareth College in suburban Rochester, one student contacted her family to say she’s safe and another contacted the school through a lawyer. A college spokeswoman says Friday that Nazareth has since been notified by the U.S. government that the third student also is safe.

College officials have speculated the students — two 21-year-old women and a man — decided to defect.

The remaining 17 in the group are scheduled to return to Afghanistan on Sunday after spending three days in Washington, D.C.

A call to the State Department wasn’t immediately returned Friday.