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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Kenya Wildlife Service says authorities in five African countries have seized about a ton of illegal ivory in a joint operation.

Kenya’s conservation agency says 57 suspects have been arrested after a four-month investigation in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

Authorities have also recovered hippo teeth and skins from cheetahs, leopards and pythons in the operation. Undercover agents followed suspects and illegal products to local ivory markets, airports, border crossings and smuggling points.

The agency announced the seizures in a statement Monday.

There is a 19-year old global ban on trade in ivory.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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