Kurds free teenage Swedish girl in Mosul area

Erbil (AFP) – Iraqi Kurdish forces have rescued a 16-year-old Swedish girl who was tricked into travelling to areas controlled by the Islamic State group, a statement said Tuesday.

Kurdish counter-terrorism forces rescued the girl near Mosul, the jihadist organisation’s main hub in Iraq, the statement from the Kurdistan Regional Security Council (KRSC) said.

“She was misled by an ISIL member in Sweden to travel to Syria and later to Mosul,” the statement said, using another acronym for the jihadist group.

“The Kurdistan Regional Security Council was called upon by Swedish authorities and members of her family to assist in locating and rescuing her from ISIL,” it said.

The teenage girl from the Swedish town of Boras was rescued on February 17, the statement said, without specifying exactly where that happened.

But a senior Kurdish security official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the operation took place in Mosul instead of near the northern city.

“The operation was carried out secretly in the centre of Mosul… without clashes or the arrest of any gunmen,” according to the official.

“Swedish authorities were in continuous contact with the girl and organised the operation to rescue her in cooperation with regional authorities,” the official said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the incident from the Swedish authorities, to whom the KRSC said the teenager would shortly be transferred.

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