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Turkey rescues 7-year-old Ezidi girl in ISIS raid

FILE PHOTO: Displaced Iraqi Ezidi children stand next to a tent at a camp in Khanke, a few kilometres from the Turkish border in Kurdistan Region's Dohuk governorate, on June 24, 2019. AFP - SAFIN HAMED
2021-02-24

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SULAIMANI — Turkish police on Wednesday (February 24) arrested two suspected members of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group in Ankara and released a seven-year-old girl from Iraq's Ezidi religious minority, media reports said.

The child was handed over to social services after the operation, which was conducted jointly by Turkey's police and intelligence service, the DHA news agency reported.

It said two "senior" ISIS operatives in Iraq were detained.

Turkey has reported a spate of arrests of ISIS suspects this month.

Turkish police on Tuesday detained a French ISIS suspect as she was reportedly trying to contact the French embassy to secure her return to France.

A Russian female ISIS suspect was captured last week at the border trying to cross into Turkey from Syria with four other Russians and a Libyan.

The same week, a 26-year-old woman from New Zealand was arrested with her two children near the Syrian border, also accused of links to the ISIS group.

The Ezidis number around 1.5 million worldwide, of whom around 550,000 were living in Iraq's northwest, concentrated around the enclave of Sinjar.

But in 2014, ISIS swept through Sinjar and, branding the Ezidis as infidels, killed the men, took the boys as child soldiers and forced the women into sexual slavery.

Several thousand Ezidis were killed and nearly 100,000 fled abroad, with others internally displaced in Iraq.

(NRT Digital Media/AFP)