‘I paid $90,000 to free my family from IS’

Source: BBC News

Khalid Taalo Khudhur al-Ali with nephews and nieces (none of them trafficked)Image copyrightLEILA MOLANA-ALLEN
Image captionKhalid Taalo Khudhur al-Ali with nephews and nieces who also made it to safety in August 2014

Khalid Taalo Khudhur al-Ali fled with his wife and children as Islamic State militants attacked their town in Iraq in 2014, but 19 other members of his family were captured. Over the last four years he has paid $90,000 for the release of 10 of them. But now, after the defeat of IS, he fears that any survivors may be beyond his reach.

On 26 September last year, a red pick-up truck pulled into Sharya in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

Inside sat 16-year-old Shaima. As the vehicle drew into the small, dusty village, friends and family crowded around and she fell into their arms.

This was Shaima’s return after more than three years in the captivity of Islamic State, during which she was sold from one fighter to another and moved between their strongholds in Iraq and Syria.


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