Madeleine's parents attacked online

LEICESTER, England, July 26 (UPI) -- A British newspaper has banned readers' comments about the parents of a missing 4-year-old girl because of a "spiteful" online campaign against them.

Gerry and Kate McCann were eating dinner at a restaurant within sight of their rented apartment in Portugal when their daughter, Madeleine, was abducted.


The couple's hometown newspaper, The Leicester Mercury, says its site has been inundated with e-mail, The Daily Mail reported.

"A tiny minority of people seem to want to say nasty, spiteful and defamatory things about the McCann family," Nick Carter, the editor, said. "They are bombarding our site, and we had no choice but to block comment entirely on reports about the family."

Gerry McCann, who is in the United States, said in interviews with CNN and ABC that he and his wife have been told they were "at worst naive" when they left their three children sleeping.

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