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North Macedonia Repatriates Four Suspected Islamic State Fighters, Families

By RFE/RL's Balkan Service July 19, 2021

SKOPJE -- North Macedonia says it has repatriated four suspected former fighters of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group and their families from Syria and Iraq.

The 23-member group, including five women and 14 children, was transferred to the Balkan country late on July 17, the government said in a statement on its website.

The four men, who are facing criminal charges, were put in custody pending trial.

The women and children will be subject to 14-day health quarantine and medical exams.

The government also said authorities will investigate their "possible participation in incriminating acts, on a case-by-case basis."

If cleared, they will then begin the process of reintegration into society.

A police spokesperson said that 11 other Macedonian citizens had been repatriated from Syria and Iraq in 2018-20.

North Macedonia's court have given 13 people sentences ranging from six to nine years in prison for joining the IS group and for fighting in Syria and Iraq.

With reporting by AP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/north-macedonia-islamic -state-repatriation/31365674.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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