IS-held Swedish teen 'rescued from Mosul by Kurdish special forces'

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Kurdish officials in Iraq say 16-year-old was rescued following request for help from Swedish authorities

A photo released by Kurdish authorities of 16-year-old Marlin Stivani Nivarlain (Twitter/KRG)
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Tuesday 23 February 2016 17:42 UTC
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A Swedish teenage girl was rescued from the Islamic State (IS) group near the Iraqi city of Mosul by Kurdish special forces last week, the security council of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government said in a statement on Tuesday.

“On 17 February 2016 special forces from the Directorate General of Counter Terrorism … rescued a young Swedish woman near ISIL-occupied Mosul,” the council said in a statement, using an alternative acronym for IS.

Kurdish authorities named the girl as 16-year-old Marlin Stivani Nivarlain. They said she had been “misled” by an IS member in Sweden to travel to Syria and later Mosul, the group’s main stronghold in Iraq.

Swedish authorities have not commented on the case but they did ask for assistance from Kurdish forces, according to the council’s statement.

Nivarlain is currently being looked after in the Kurdish region of Iraq and is being “provided [with] the care afforded to her under international law”.

Kurdish authorities will transfer her to Sweden “once the necessary arrangement are put in place,” the council said.

IS seized control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June 2014. Since then the group has expanded into Syria and established a self-styled caliphate with its headquarters in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The group has caused consistent outrage with elaborate acts of violence, including the filmed executions of British and American hostages.

Regular reports have emerged from Mosul of public executions of people condemned by the group for violating its hardline laws or alleged to have spied for Western governments or Kurdish groups.

Last week IS released a list of more than 1,000 names of people the group says it has executed in 2015.