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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey rescues 7-year-old Yazidi girl in IS raid

The child was handed over to social services after the rescue. [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 February, 2021

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A young Yazidi girl has been rescued by Turkish police in Ankara and two Islamic State members have been arrested.

Turkish police on Wednesday arrested two suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Ankara and released a seven-year-old girl from Iraq's Yazidi 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" IS operatives in Iraq were detained.

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

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

A Russian female IS 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 IS group.

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

Read more: From genocide to pandemic: Yazidis in Iraq face looming mental health crisis as Covid-19 spreads

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

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

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