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FBI investigating Amish violence

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The FBI is investigating alleged violence by members of a breakaway Amish community in Ohio directed at other Amish, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla told CNN there are believed to have been a number of Amish-on-Amish incidents in recent years, carried out by about 30 men and women. But only one, in which a farmer was dragged from his house to have his beard cut off, has led to arrests.

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Most Amish are reluctant to report crimes to the police, Abdalla said, preferring to use religious tribunals.

Vicki Anderson, an FBI spokeswoman, said agents are looking at all the incidents.

The Amish community in Lancaster County, Pa., is the best-known but Ohio has a slightly larger Amish population. New communities are sometimes formed because of religious disputes.

Sam Mullet, three of his sons and another alleged follower have been charged with kidnapping and burglary.

Asked by CNN if the charges were true, Mullet said: "Beard-cutting is a crime, isn't it?"

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