17 Indonesians escape IS in Syria

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Jakarta, Aug 11 (IANS) Seventeen Indonesian citizens who had escaped from the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria were being repatriated back home, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Deputy Foreign Minister A.M. Fachir said those 17 nationals, including teenagers, women and infants, had left Syria and reached Iraq’s territory, Xinhua news agency reported.

Coordination with Iraqi authorities had been undertaken to escort their journey back to Indonesia due to security reasons, he said.

“Our representatives in Baghdad have escorted them. We have involved other party. (The threat) is security,” he said.

The 17 people left Indonesia in August 2015 and stayed in an IS camp in the Syrian city of Raqqa for about 40 days, said Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, director for the protection of Indonesian nationals and entities abroad.

IS militants threw them in detention cells as they refused to fight for the group, Fachir said.

–IANS

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