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Cyprus Justice Minister resigns over serial killings uproar

Cyprus’s Justice Minister, Ionas Nicolaou, resigned on Thursday amid uproar over police handling of disappearances of foreign women in the country.

The women are believed to be victims of suspected serial killer whose actions went undetected for almost three years.

Four women have been found murdered in the past three weeks, their bodies dumped in three locations west of the capital, Nicosia.

Investigations are underway into three other disappearances, including two girls aged six and eight.

A 35-year-old career army officer is in custody and police say he has confessed to seven killings in total after having connected with the women on an online dating site.

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“I informed the president of the republic that I am resigning for reasons of political sensitivity,” Nicolaou told reporters after meeting President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.

Nicolaou said Anastasiades accepted his resignation.

Authorities have come under fierce criticism for not thoroughly investigating reports of the women disappearing in the first place.

A mother and daughter from Romania, thought to be the first victims, disappeared in September, 2016, and the last of the victims, from the Philippines, around August, 2018.

Police say they will conduct an investigation into any perceived shortcomings. (NAN)