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Children of Gothenburg-born Isis fighter set to return to Sweden

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Children of Gothenburg-born Isis fighter set to return to Sweden
The children had been staying at the al-Hol camp in northern Syria. Photo: AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo
07:57 CEST+02:00
The seven young children of dead Isis fighter Michael Skråmo have been taken from a Syrian refugee camp to Swedish authorities in Iraq, from where they will be brought home to Sweden.

The children, aged between one and eight, were left orphaned and alone after their father was killed in battle in the Syrian town of Baghouz in late March. Their mother was also killed in early 2019.

Their grandfather had been fighting to return the children to Sweden since their parents’ death, and the Swedish foreign ministry had been in talks with the Kurdish-controlled al-Hol refugee camp.

On Tuesday the Sweden representative for Kurdish authorities in northern Syria told media that the children had been handed over to Swedish authorities after "all the paperwork had been completed".

"We have had a good dialogue in recent days and weeks. We agreed that the children are innocent and should end up in a safe environment," Shiyar Ali told Swedish news agency TT.

The Swedish foreign ministry would not comment on the location of the children.

"Our focus is on helping the children in the best way," spokesperson Rasmus Eljanskog told TT.

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Around 60-80 children with a Swedish connection are believed to be held at the al-Hol refugee camp, with the question of how to solve the situation for children of Isis affiliates remaining highly debated.

Several parliamentary parties have criticized the Swedish government for not acting fast enough – something that has been rejected by Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.

"We work as fast as we can. But there is no quick fix for this as some seem to believe," she said last month.

Since 2012, around 300 people have travelled from Sweden to Syria and Iraq to join violent Islamist groups in the region, mainly the terrorist organization Isis.

Roughly half of them have returned back to Sweden.

Skråmo, a Norwegian citizen born and brought up in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, was one of the most prolific propagandists of Isis.

 
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