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Report: Iraq Holding 1,400 Wives, Children Of Defeated IS Fighters

Members of Iraqi federal police patrol in the destroyed Old City of Mosul after IS fighters were driven out.

Reuters news agency is reporting that Iraqi authorities are holding 1,400 foreign wives and children of suspected fighters of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The news agency, citing security and aid officials, on September 10 said many of those detained came from Turkey, while others came from Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Russia.

Some were also from Asia and a "very few" were French and German citizens, the report said.

Reuters said the detainees were wives and children of IS fighters driven out by government forces from their last strongholds, including Mosul.

They women and children are being held at a camp south of Mosul. One intelligence officer said the authorities were still attempting to confirm and verify their identities with their home countries, as most did not have their original documents.

Iraqi Army Colonel Ahmad al-Taie told Reuters the army was holding families of extremists and awaiting government orders.

Reuters said its reporters saw hundreds of the women and children sitting on mattresses crawling with bugs in tents without air-conditioning in what aid workers called a "militarized site."

"I want to go back [to France] but don't know how," said a French-speaking veiled woman of Chechen origin who said she did not know what had happened to her husband, who had brought her to Iraq after he joined IS.

Based on reporting by Reuters