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Bosnia To Bring Back, Put On Trial Two Nationals Suspected Of Joining IS In Syria

Unidentified fighters from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Syria are shown in file photo.

Bosnia-Herzegovina says it will bring back two nationals who fought for the Islamic State (IS) militant group and who are being held in a Kurdish-run camp in Syria.

Security Minister Dragan Mektic on March 9 said the men will be tried in Bosnia on suspicion of membership in a terrorist group.

The names of the two men were not released.

Officials said the two are expected to be transferred to Bosnia by the end of March.

They said one of the men went to Syria and joined in 2013. He married there and is now the father of two children.

Bosnian media said he was recruited by Bosnian Salafist leader Bilal Bosnic, who was sentenced in 2015 to a seven-year prison term in Sarajevo.

No information was immediately available about the second suspect.

According to the website, Bosnian authorities have warrants issued for 11 other Bosnians suspected of having joined and fought for IS.

According to official Bosnian statistics, 241 adults and 80 children left from Bosnia or the Bosian diaspora in 2012-16 for Syria or Iraq, where an estimated 150 more children have been born.

The statistics show that at least 88 have been killed or died, while some 100 adults, including 49 women, remain in the region. About 50 have returned to Bosnia, including seven children.

The Bosnian government last year said it would establish a coordination body to help deal with the return of Islamic fighters and their families, but it has not yet been set up.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided into two separately governed regions -- Serbian and Muslim-Croat -- under a peace agreement that ended the 1992-95 war between the country's Serbs, Muslim Bosniaks, and Croats. Its central government is ruled jointly.

Some 50 percent of the population of Bosnia are Muslim Bosniaks, who received Western support during the country’s civil war. The influence of fundamentalist forces from the Persian Gulf region has intensified in recent years, although Bosnia for the most part remains allied to the West.

With reporting by dpa,, and Reuters
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