• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Kurdish troops rescue Swedish girl held in Iraq
File photo of the city of Mosul. Credit: AP/TT/Uncredited

Kurdish troops rescue Swedish girl held in Iraq

TT/AFP/The Local · 23 Feb 2016, 22:52

Published: 23 Feb 2016 13:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Feb 2016 22:52 GMT+01:00

The Kurdistan Region Security Council said on social media on Tuesday that its troops had liberated the girl near the Isis-occupied city of Mosul in northern Iraq on February 17th.

In a post published on Twitter, it wrote that it "was called upon by Swedish authorities and members of her family to assist in locating and rescuing" her from Isis.

However, the Swedish Foreign Ministry declined to comment when asked by Swedish media.

"We have no information to hand out about this case," spokesperson Katarina Byrenius Roslund told the TT newswire.

The Kurdistan Region Security Council said the girl, from the small town of Borås in south-western Sweden, had been "misled" by an Isis member in Sweden to first travel to Syria and then onwards to Mosul.

"She is currently in the Kurdistan Region and is provided the care afforded to her under international law. She will be transferred to Swedish authorities to return home once necessary arrangements are put place [sic]," it said.

A senior Kurdish security official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity that the operation had taken place in Mosul and had avoided any bloodshed.

"The operation was carried out secretly in the centre of Mosul... without clashes or the arrest of any gunmen," the official said.

"Swedish authorities were in continuous contact with the girl and organized the operation to rescue her in cooperation with regional authorities."

It is understood that the girl in question is the same then-pregnant teen who travelled with her 19-year-old boyfriend to the Middle East earlier this summer, where he was said to have joined an extremist group.

According to unconfirmed reports by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, the male teenager was later killed in a Russian air raid on the Iraqi city of Ramadi. It added that the girl gave birth to a son in November.

The circumstances of the rescue operation were unclear on Tuesday afternoon, but according to Swedish Radio, it followed another liberation attempt last year, which had initially been believed to be successful.

But Swedish journalist Kurdo Baksi, quoted by TT, said his contacts in the region had told him that the girl had then been kidnapped by other armed troops during the raid on an Isis camp last autumn.

Story continues below…

"It's a group near Mosul which has specialized in murdering IS soldiers, but at the same time they carry out kidnappings and want paid," he said.

However, according to other, also unconfirmed report, the teenager had returned voluntarily to the same Isis troops that originally held her shortly after the first liberation attempt.

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

Sweden's Security Service, Säpo, does not comment on individual cases but has previously said that up to 300 Swedes are believed to have travelled to the region to fight in the past three years. Around 40 are thought to have died in battle and around 125 are understood to remain in Syria and Iraq – 90 men and 35 women.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Zlatan reunited with Mourinho at Manchester United
Ibrahimovic - who left French champions Paris Saint Germain at the end of last season - is reunited with Mourinho, under whom he played at Inter Milan. Photo: TT

Can the Swedish superstar recapture the swagger that eluded him at Euro 2016?

Kidnappers with chainsaw abduct man in Stockholm
The scene of the kidnapping in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A man has been arrested after armed kidnappers bundled another man into a van and drove off with him shortly after noon on Friday outside the Bromma Blocks shopping centre in Stockholm.

Border Checks
Commuters to seek damages from Sweden over ID checks
The Öresund bridge. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

The Southern Sweden Chamber of Commerce is collecting commuters' names ahead of an attempt to claim damages from the Swedish state over ID checks in the Öresund region.

Why Swedes are so relaxed about taking gap years
Anna Tybrandt and her friends in Malaysia/Photo: Private

But the French aren't so keen.

Euro 2016
How Iceland made Swedes 'proud to be Nordic'
Fans react in Reykjavic after Iceland defeat England. Photo: Brynjar Gunnarsson

Sweden failed to make it past the group stages at Euro 2016. The fans needed a new team, and now they've got one.

Why this Swedish police dog has been hailed as a hero
Äddie the police dog has finally retired after ten years on the job. Photo: Christer Torlen

A heart-warming Stockholm Police tribute to Äddie the retiring police dog has attracted hundreds of replies and thousands of likes on Facebook.

Five facts on Manchester United-bound Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic is on his way to Old Trafford. Here's everything you need to know. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally confirmed his next choice of club. Here are five facts on the Swedish striker after he announced he is signing for Manchester United on Thursday.

Swedish state appeals against Roma register ruling
Fred Taikon was one of the eleven victims. Photo: Maja Suslin

A court ruling judged that the Swedish state should pay out compensation to eleven victims of ethnic discrimination, but an appeal has now been launched.

Ikea opens massive museum in Sweden
A scene from the museum in Älmhult. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Flatpack enthusiasts rejoice: Ikea has just opened a 7,000 square metre museum in the building that once housed its original store.

The Local Recipes
How to make a Swedish chicken and strawberry salad
Chicken and strawberry: a better combination than it may seem. Photo: SwedishFood.com

Easy to prepare, this chicken and strawberry salad is the meal you need this weekend, trust us!

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
'A Swedish passport means more than a British one now'
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
The Local Voices
The Syrian body-building champion fighting the urge to eat sweets in Sweden
Business & Money
Swedish banknotes expire this week
Blog updates

1 July

Editor’s blog, July 1st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello and welcome to this week’s news round-up. The fall-out from the Brexit vote has come…" READ »

 

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: June 29th
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
International
Foul-mouthed attack on young Swedish mother in England
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
3,248
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se