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Terror alert over stolen passports

From CNN State Department producer Elise Labott

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. State Department says it fears some 5,000 French passports stolen last month may end up in the hands of traffickers or terrorists.

U.S. authorities say French officials have told them the passports were stolen from France's national passport office in Marseilles.

Consular officials and border security posts have the passport numbers and have been told to be on the lookout for the stolen documents.

A State Department official said passport theft is a common occurrence and it is standard procedure for countries whose passports have been stolen to alert other governments about the theft.

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