Iraqi authorities are holding 1,400 foreign wives and children of suspected ISIS fighters after government forces expelled the militant group from one of its last remaining strongholds in Iraq, security and aid officials said.
Most came from Turkey. Many others were from former Soviet states, such as Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Russia, Iraqi army and intelligence officers said. Other Asians and a "very few" French and Germans were also among them.
The wives and children are being held at an Iraqi camp south of Mosul. Most had arrived since Aug. 30, when Iraqi troops drove ISIS out of Mosul.
One intelligence officer said that they were still in verifying their nationalities with their home countries, since many of the women no longer had their original documents.
It is the largest group of foreigners linked to Islamic State to be held by Iraqi forces since they began driving the militants from Mosul and other areas in northern Iraq last year, an aid official said. Thousands of foreigners have been fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Iraq holding 1,400 foreign wives, children of suspected ISIS fighters