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One more mother returns to Finland from al-Hol camp

The family left al-Hol without help from the Finnish government.

Naisia ja lapsi Al-Holin leirillä.
There were at one time eleven Finnish women at al-Hol. Image: Otso Reunanen / Yle

A Finnish woman has arrived in Finland with her children after fleeing the al-Hol camp in northern Syria. The camp houses women and children who lived in the short-lived ISIS caliphate when it collapsed.

The woman had left the camp under her own steam and then after a spell in Turkey sought help from the Finnish embassy to return to Finland. She has at least two children aged under 10, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not comment further on the number of children who returned.

The ministry says it did not help the family to leave the camp or in crossing the border between Syria and Turkey.

Social workers and police met the family at Helsinki Vantaa Airport, and they will be asked to quarantine for two weeks.

In May three women arrived in Finland from the camp, along with nine children. They had also left the camp of their own volition and without assistance from Finland.

There were at one time eleven Finnish women at al-Hol, and around 30 Finnish children. At least fifteen have returned so far.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) is under police investigation over his actions in re-assigning a senior official at the ministry who disagreed with a plan to repatriate Finnish citizens from the camp.

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