Chinese police have rescued 92 kidnapped children in the latest operation to crack down on the country's chronic child trafficking problem, the Ministry of Public Security says.

Police forces detained 301 suspects after simultaneous raids in 11 provinces, the ministry said late on Friday, in an operation aimed at breaking up a massive network that stole, bought and sold children in Henan province in central China.

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The network was also active in other provinces, authorities said. According to the ministry, the group targeted children in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China's southwest and transported them to other provinces for sale.

An exact date of when the children were rescued and the arrests made was not given.

Child trafficking is a major problem in China. Police operations such as the one conducted on Friday have become regular occurrences as authorities crack down on the problem. The investigation that led to the latest raids lasted six months, authorities said.

Strict family planning laws, a traditional preference for boys, ignorance of the law, poverty and illicit profits drive a thriving market in babies and children.

China also plans to introduce laws to punish buyers of children and parents selling their own children.

The country has trumpeted the success of its intensified crackdown on the kidnapping and sale of children and women recently. In 2011, police said they had rescued more than 13,000 abducted children and 23,000 women over the past two years.

Source: Agencies