The Latest: German girl found in Mosul is in good health

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BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on foreigners found in Iraq (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Iraqi intelligence and investigative officials say a German teenager who was found in Iraq after running away from home shortly after converting to Islam a year ago is in good health.

The officials, who were not allowed to give their names publicly, said Saturday that 16-year-old Linda W. was "too stunned" to speak on the day of her arrest but is now in a better condition.

The teen ran away last summer from her hometown of Pulsnitz in eastern Germany after communicating with extremists from the Islamic State group online. She was found earlier this month in the basement of a home in Mosul's Old City by Iraqi forces who are driving IS militants from the northern Iraqi city.

Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that her interrogation will begin next week and that German interpreters will be brought in because she doesn't speak much Arabic.

They say she is being held at a prison near Baghdad's airport together with other foreign women found in Mosul, including citizens from Belgium, France, Syria and Iran.

— by Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad.


5:15 p.m.

The mayor of a German town where a teenager girl ran away from last summer to join the extremist group Islamic State says she's relieved the girl has been found in Iraq.

Mayor Barbara Lueke from Pulsnitz in eastern Germany told the news agency dpa on Saturday that the family of 16-year-old Linda W. had been very reclusive and rarely seen in town.

Lueke said the school had been aware of the girl's conversion to Islam and the principal had talked to the parents about it. She added that "it was very surprising, though, that the girl has been radicalized in such a way."

Iraqi intelligence officials say the girl allegedly had worked with the police of the IS group and was apprehended in a basement of Mosul's Old City earlier this month. She is talking with German consular officials.


4:20 p.m.

Three Iraqi intelligence and investigative officials have confirmed that the German teenager apprehended the basement of a home in Mosul's Old City earlier this month is Linda W., a girl who ran away a year ago from her home in Germany after converting to Islam.

The officials said Saturday the 16-year-old German was one of 26 foreigners who were arrested by Iraqi military in Mosul after the extremist Islamic State group retreated from there.

They say Linda W. had met a Muslim Arab online and married him after her arrival in Iraq from her hometown of Pulsnitz in eastern Germany. The officials, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the information has not been made public, say Linda W. worked for the police department of IS.

Both Iraqi and German officials say German Embassy personnel have been in touch with the girl, who is now in Baghdad.

— by Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad.


3:50 p.m.

A German prosecutor says it's not clear if a German girl, who ran away to Iraq a year ago shortly after converting to Islam, will be returned to her home country.

Dresden prosecutor Lorenz Haase said Saturday that his office has not applied for the return of 16-year-old Linda W. from Pulsnitz in eastern Germany, who was found in Mosul earlier this month.

Iraqi officals said the teenager was with the extremist Islamic State group and worked for the IS police department. Haase said "the public prosecutor's office Dresden has not applied for an arrest warrant and will therefore not be able to request extradition."

He added "there is the possibility that Linda might be put on trial in Iraq." He said she also might be expelled for being a foreigner or, because she is a minor reported missing in Germany, she could be handed over to Germany.


3 p.m.

Three Iraqi intelligence and investigative officials have told The Associated Press that 26 foreigners have been arrested in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul — including two men, eight children and 16 women — and they have been taken to Baghdad.

The sources say some of those arrested were from Chechnya, and the women were from Russia, Iran, Syria, France, Belgium and Germany. They spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the information is not yet public.

They say four German women have been arrested so far — including one each of Moroccan, Algerian, Chechen and German descent. The Moroccan has a child and they were arrested in Mosul about ten days ago.

The officials say the women had allegedly been working with IS in the police force. Their husbands were IS fighters but their fates are not known. The French and German embassies have visited the women. They expect that the children will be handed over to the countries they belong to and the women will be tried on terrorism charges.

— by Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad.


11:20 a.m.

Prosecutors say a German girl who ran away from home shortly after converting to Islam has been found in Iraq.

Prosecutor Lorenz Haase from the eastern German city of Dresden says the 16-year-old teenager, only identified as Linda W. in line with German privacy laws, is getting consular assistance from the German Embassy in Iraq. Haase on Saturday wouldn't confirm media reports that the teenager from Pulsnitz in eastern Germany had been fighting for the Islamic State group in Mosul.

He told The Associated Press that "our information ends with the girl's arrival in Istanbul about a year ago."

Several female foreign IS fighters have been detained by Iraq's military in Mosul recently, but Haase couldn't confirm that the German girl was part of that group.

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