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Iraq: German Teen Captured In Mosul In Good Health, Was Working For Islamic State


A street in Mosul after liberation by Iraqi government forces.

Iraqi officials say a German teen girl who was found in Mosul after running away from home after converting to Islam a year ago is in good health.

Iraqi security and intelligence officials said the 16-year-old girl, being identified only as Linda W., was "too stunned" to speak immediately after she was apprehended but is now in better condition.

The officials said she was discovered in the basement of a home in Mosul's Old City earlier this month, one of 26 foreigners arrested in the city as Iraqi forces drove Islamic State (IS) extremists from the group's self-declared capital.

German officials in her home state of Saxony on July 22 confirmed that the girl was from the eastern state and that she was being assisted by the German Embassy in Iraq.

Iraqi officials said Linda W. had been working with the police forces of the extremist group in Mosul.

She could theoretically face the death sentence, according to Iraqi law, for those actions, but she could not be executive before age 22, officials said.

Iraqi officials report she is being held at a prison near the Baghdad airport with other foreign girls and women found in Mosul, including citizens from Belgium, France, Syria, and Iran.

The girl has so far not made a statement, but she will be interrogated by Iraqi security personnel in the presence of German interpreters because she lacks proficient Arabic-language skills, officials said.

The officials said the girl had married a Muslim Arab she met online after arriving in territory controlled at the time by IS. The fate of her husband was not known.

German newspapers have reported the teen ran away from home a year ago in the city of Pulsnitz after communicating with IS extremists online.

Her mother later found a copy of the girl's plane ticket to Turkey under a bed, the newspapers said.

In a separate case, Iraqi officials said a French woman captured on July 9 in Mosul with her four children was facing possible prosecution for allegedly collaborating with IS.

The woman was arrested with her children in a basement in Mosul's Old City. The French government has asked that the Iraqis allow the children to be returned to France.

IS captured Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in 2014 but were driven from the city after an eight-month battle by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces, with the Old City being the final sector to be cleared of extremists.

With reporting by AP and dpa
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