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Bosnians Suspected Of Supporting Islamic State Deported From Syria

The deportees are transported from Sarajevo International Airport late on December 19.
The deportees are transported from Sarajevo International Airport late on December 19.

SARAJEVO -- Twenty-five Bosnian citizens have been sent home from camps in Syria, including women, children, and suspected fighters of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s authorities say.

Federal police said the group that was repatriated on December 19 included six women, 12 children, and seven men who were handed over to the Bosnian legal authorities.

The deportees had been living on IS-controlled territory in Syria before being captured by Kurdish forces.

Border police confirmed they arrived at Sarajevo International Airport aboard a noncommercial flight.

Upon arrival, they were met by police, social services, and medical professionals, who performed health checkups.

The women and children were to be taken to the Delijas asylum center near Sarajevo, where they are expected to stay for up to 15 days before being reunited with their families.

The seven men were detained and will face criminal proceedings for their role in supporting the IS group, according to the Prosecutor-General's Office.

About 300 Bosnian citizens, including many women and children, traveled to Syria and Iraq between 2012 and 2016, according to official data.

Bosnia’s officials have said that about 260 of them remained in the camps in Syria.

In 2014, Bosnia introduced prison terms for its nationals who fought abroad.

More than 20 former IS militants who have since returned to the Balkan country were handed prison terms of up to four years in prison.

With reporting by AP and AFP

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