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Thursday 8 December 2016

Teenage Swedish girl rescued from Islamic State in Iraq

Published 23/02/2016 | 15:56

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces are fighting IS militants to the north and east of Mosul (AP)
Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces are fighting IS militants to the north and east of Mosul (AP)

Iraqi Kurdish troops have rescued a teenage Swedish girl from the Islamic State group near the extremist-controlled city of Mosul, Kurdish authorities said.

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A statement from the regional government said the rescue operation by Kurdish anti-terrorist forces took place on February 17 near Mosul, 225 miles north-west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The statement said the girl is a 16-year-old from the town of Boras who "was misled" by an IS member in Sweden to travel to Syria and later to Mosul.

It said Swedish authorities and the teenager's family had contacted the Iraqi Kurdish government and asked for help in locating and rescuing the girl.

The young woman is in Iraqi Kurdish territory and is being "provided the care afforded to her under international law", the statement said, adding that she will be "transferred to Swedish authorities to return home once necessary arrangements" are made.

The statement provided no details on the rescue operation and did not say whether the teenager was mistreated by IS.

Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul was the first major centre to fall into the hands of IS militants during their blitz in June 2014, when the group swept across vast areas in the country's north and west.

Mosul remains under control of IS as Iraqi forces - aided by air strikes by the US-led international coalition, as well as Shiite militiamen and Sunni pro-government fighters - battle to reclaim ground lost to the militants.

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces are fighting IS militants to the north and east of the city.

Press Association

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