North Macedonia repatriates 4 IS fighters and their families

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SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Four suspected former Islamic State group fighters and their families have been successfully repatriated to North Macedonia, the government said Sunday.

Government said the 23-member group, including five women and 14 children, has been transferred from Syria and Iraq to the Balkan nation.

The four men were put in custody pending trial. The government said they had requested a red notice for the arrest of the four after the country’s police had gathered evidence they had joined the IS and fought in Syria and Iraq.

The women and children were transferred to a shelter for two-week mandatory health quarantine and medical exams due to coronavirus protocols. The government also said authorities will investigate their “possible participation in incriminating acts.” If cleared, they will then begin the process of reintegration into society.

The government said this is the last group of former IS fighters and their families repatriated in North Macedonia.

Police spokesperson Toni Angelovski told The Associated Press that 11 other Macedonian citizens, including a woman, had been repatriated from 2018 to 2020.

Criminal courts in North Macedonia have so far given 13 people sentences ranging from six to nine years in jail for fighting with IS in Syria and Iraq.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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