World 14 killed this year in Syria camp holding IS fighters' relatives
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At least 14 killings, including three beheadings, have rocked a northeast Syria camp holding families linked to the Islamic State group since early January, a Kurdish official said Monday.
It was the latest sign of deteriorating security at the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp which holds almost 62,000 people, mostly women and children, including Syrians, Iraqis and thousands from Europe and Asia.
"Until now, 14 people have been killed in Al-Hol" since the start of the year, Sheikhmous Ahmed, a Kurdish official in charge of running camps in the region, told AFP.
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© AP - Maya Alleruzzo Children have fun in the mud in the al-Hol camp in Syria in March 2019. The head of the United Nations Counterterrorism believes that the fate of the children of the fighters of the Islamic State organization in Syria, who now live in the al-Hol camp in the northeast of the country, is one of the most pressing issues to be addressed. Of the 62,000 people accommodated in al-Hol, the largest camp in northeastern Syria, more than 80% are women and children.
He said they included three decapitations, but also some killed using guns with silencers.
The victims, all camp residents, were 10 Iraqis and four Syrians, he said.
The official blamed "IS cells in Al-Hol" targeting "those cooperating with camp management", with the aim to "sow chaos and fear".
But a humanitarian source recently said tribal tensions between residents could also be to blame for some murders.
Most camp inhabitants are Syrians or Iraqis displaced by the Kurdish-led battle against IS that took back the group's last scrap of territory in March 2019.
But the camp also hosts a separate annex for thousands of foreign women and children accused of family ties with IS.
The United Nations last month said 12 murders had taken place in Al-Hol from January 1 to 16 alone.
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Despite Al-Hol camp being vastly overpopulated, the number of guards there fell from 1,500 in mid-2019 to 400 in late 2020, it said in a report published this month.
Some detainees see Al-Hol as the final remnant of the cross-border "caliphate" IS declared in Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, it said.
There have been reports of "radicalisation, training, fundraising and incitement of external operations" at the camp.
In the foreign section, "some minors are reportedly being indoctrinated and prepared to become future ISIL operatives," the UN report said, using another acronym for IS.
The Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria have long called on foreign countries to repatriate their nationals from Al-Hol and other camps in northeast Syria.
But Western nations have been largely reluctant to repatriate their IS-linked citizens, though some have brought home women and children on a case-by-case basis.
Syria's war has killed more than 387,000 people since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
It then evolved into a complex conflict involving jihadists and world powers.
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Dave Grohl reveals: “We actually recorded a few things.” © Provided by www.rollingstone.de Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear Dave Grohl reveals: “We actually recorded a few things.” Dave Grohl and Pat Smear have revealed that they occasionally revive the old Nirvana times. You probably meet with Krist Novoselic from time to time and play Nirvana songs privately. There are even said to have been some recordings.