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In Iraq, Hollande vows to tackle foreign fighters and their children

Monday, January 02, 2017 - 01:38

France will fight any French jihadists it finds on the battlefields of Iraq, arrest them if they return home and work to de-radicalise their children, President Francois Hollande said on a visit to Baghdad on Monday. Saskia O'Donoghue reports.

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Arriving in Baghdad. France's President, Francois Hollande, greeting his Iraqi counterpart. In a show of support, Hollande telling Fuad Masum that Islamic State is a common enemy that they must hunt down. The leader also promising to fight any French jihadists it finds on the battlefields of Iraq. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "We must make sure these individuals can be prevented from committing further harm, and arrested if they come back. And then, we must be able to commit to deradicalisation, in particular for the children." Hollande also meeting French soldiers, telling them their support for the Iraqi army is "indispensable" to the retaking of Mosul. And that he was hoping for "a year of victory against terrorism," explaining that the soldiers serving in Iraq were preventing more mass killings at home. French diplomatic sources say there are about 60 French citizens fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Mosul alone and hundreds more in the rest of the country and Syria. Hollande later headed North, to the Kurdish city of Erbil. Welcomed by regional president, Massoud Barzani, France is set to deliver about 38 tonnes of humanitarian aid there, including medicine. The visit came as the militant group struck the capital's Sadr city. 24 people were killed and 67 wounded when a car bomb went off in a busy square. The European Union police agency, Europol, has warned there may be a rise in the return of foreign fighters. There are fears they will continue to export their terrorism far beyond Iraq's borders.

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In Iraq, Hollande vows to tackle foreign fighters and their children

Monday, January 02, 2017 - 01:38