In this July 17, 2017, photo, the Afghanistan team, left, walks past two of the team members from Burundi, at right in black shirts, during the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Organizers of an international robotics competition in the U.S. capital believe the disappearance of six teens from Burundi may have been "self-initiated".As the competition was wrapping up Tuesday, their chaperone discovered his kids were missing. He looked in the college dorms where the six teens -- ages 16 to 18 -- had been staying. Competition organizers learned Tuesday night that the Burundi chaperone couldn't find his team.The students had been staying in dorms at Trinity Washington University, and had been expected to return to Burundi together on Thursday.According to police reports, the teens were traveling on U.S. visas good for one year.Oscar Niyiragira, chairman of the United Burundian-American Community Association Inc., said many in the community feel Canada offers better odds for asylum, particularly now that the Trump administration has taken a harsh stance on immigration.He called the teens' departure disappointing and said economic impoverishment, rather than political persecution, drives most decisions to seek asylum from Burundi. More than 500 people have been killed in Burundi, an East African nation of about 10 million people, according to the United Nations.
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