Münster (dpa) - The police in Münster identified three children as victims of an investigation into a new nationwide abuse case. They were 5, 10 and 12 years old, said the investigators on Saturday in Münster.

Eleven suspects were arrested and pre-trial detention was ordered against seven suspects. There were six men and one woman. The main suspect was a 27-year-old from Münster. In addition, it is his mother from Münster and men from Staufenberg, Hanover, Schorfheide, Kassel and Cologne.

North Rhine-Westphalia had hit the headlines since early 2019 due to several cases of serious sexual abuse of children. At a campsite in Lügde in the Lippe district, several men had sexually abused children hundreds of times over the years. Investigations into a nationwide child pornography exchange ring had begun in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne in October 2019 and now extend to all federal states.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) had declared child abuse a top priority after the Lügde case and strengthened the work of the investigative authorities in this area.