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Four-year-old boy returned to Chechnya from Iraq

4 August 2017
Bilal Tagirov (grozny-inform.ru)

A four-year-old boy whose father took him Iraq two years ago was returned to Chechnya on 2 August. A large number of people from Jordan, Iraq, and Chechnya participated in his return, according to Chechen authorities.

Khasan Tagirov took his four-year-old son Bilal Tagirov to Iraq two years ago. During the recent operation to retake Mosul from Islamic State control, the boy's father was captured by soldiers from the Iraqi Army, and relatives in Chechnya learned of the child’s fate after a video, of him appeared on the internet and was shared widely.

The video was widely shared amongst Chechens in Jordan after which former head of Jordanian intelligence Samih Beno, a Chechen himself, led efforts to find the boy. He was discovered soon after at a children’s shelter in Mosul.

After long negotiations he was transferred to Jordan and then flown on to Chechnya on a plane chartered by Chechen authorities.

The boy is not the first child to be returned to Chechnya by Chechen authorities. In mid-July a resident of Saratov District Sergey Ukhanov appealed to the Head of the republic for help in returning his six-year-old daughter, Liza. Her mother had taken her to Syria. As result of efforts by the authorities, she was found and returned to Russia to her father in Grozny.

The authorities have stated that they will continue working on finding and returning Russian children from Syria and Iraq.

According to Life.ru Bilal Tagirov is being held by Iraqi authorities and could face more than 20 years in prison.

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