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Kurdish Force Reports Rescuing Swedish Girl, 16, From ISIS In Mosul

Saying it had been asked to look for a teenager from Sweden who had been misled by a member of the Islamic militant group ISIS, a Kurdish security force says it recently rescued the girl, 16, from Mosul, Iraq.

Announcing the rescue Tuesday, the Kurdistan Region Security Council said that an ISIS operative in Sweden had persuaded the girl to travel to Syria and then to Mosul.

"She will be transferred to Swedish authorities to return home once necessary arrangements are put in place," the council says, according to Rudaw, an online news site based in Irbil.

Swedish news website The Local says the girl was pregnant when she initially traveled to the Middle East last June along with her boyfriend — and that by August, they were both being held by ISIS. In November, she gave birth to a son, according to multiple reports.

The Local adds that there has been confusion about which militant group in the Mosul area had been holding the girl, with some reports indicating that she had been taken away from ISIS' control during a raid on one of its camps last autumn, and other accounts saying she had returned to the group after an early attempt to rescue her.

The news site concludes:

"While much behind her journey to Syria and Iraq remains unconfirmed, news of her situation follows a rise in young people making the journey from Scandinavia to the Middle East to join radical groups."

Authorities in Sweden have not issued a statement or comment about the case.

According to the Aftonbladet news agency, the girl's boyfriend recorded a short video last spring in which he addressed the girl's family, telling them that they should forget about her, as she would not be coming back home.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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