Kazakhstani authorities work to repatriate children stranded in Syria


ASTANA -- Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry is working to repatriate Kazakhstani children stranded in war zones in Syria, Kazinform reported Thursday (December 14).

Many of the Kazakhstani citizens who travelled to war zones fought alongside terrorist groups and were killed, leaving their children behind in refugee camps, said Ardak Madiyev, director of the ministry's Consular Service Department.

"We, together with the competent authorities of Kazakhstan, are now making up an action plan to locate the children and return them to their homeland," he said during a briefing in Astana.

Identifying the affected children is difficult "as the children are small and cannot tell where they came from because they have lived in the combat zone for 3-4 years", he added. "Perhaps they were born there."

Eleven Kazakhstani nationals, including nine children, recently returned home from Middle Eastern war zones, he said.

The Foreign Ministry will work with the Ministry of Education and Science to deradicalise those who return to Kazakhstan, said Madiyev.

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