Ex-kickboxing champ turned terrorist dead

Updated 07 July 2015
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Ex-kickboxing champ turned terrorist dead

ZURICH: A former world champion kickboxer who left his home and family in Germany to join up with Middle East extremists has died in Syria, Swiss television has reported, citing his brother.
Valdet Gashi died last Saturday under circumstances that remain unclear, SRF, the Swiss public broadcaster, said.
According to media accounts, the 29-year-old German of Albanian descent linked up with Daesh militants in January. In a telephone interview with SRF last month, he said he was trying to help build a modern calpihate in Syria.
“If I die while doing good, I of course will be glad,” it quoted him as saying at the time.
A UN report issued in May said that some 20,000-22,000 foreign fighters are active in the Syria-Iraq conflict zone alone, where Daesh has taken over swaths of territory.


UN urges resolving fate of 2,500 foreign children at Syria camp

Updated 18 April 2019
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UN urges resolving fate of 2,500 foreign children at Syria camp

  • Panos Moumtzis, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said home nations must take responsibility for repatriating their citizens, prosecuting where necessary
  • Britain revoked the citizenship of Shamima Begum who left at 15 to join Daesh in Syria

GENEVA: Around 2,500 foreign children are stuck in a guarded section of a Syrian camp after fleeing Daesh's last stronghold, a senior United Nations official said on Thursday, urging governments not to abandon them.
The children's plight at the Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria is a dilemma for nations who saw citizens leave and fight for the extremist movement in Syria and Iraq only to find themselves in limbo after the fall of their self-proclaimed "caliphate."
Panos Moumtzis, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said home nations must take responsibility for repatriating their citizens, prosecuting where necessary.
"Really nobody should be rendered stateless and every effort should be made to find a solution for these people," he told a Geneva news briefing.
The children are among 10,000 non-Syrian and non-Iraqi nationals kept in a "restricted" section of the sprawling, Kurdish-run camp where 75,000 people live in total.
Some 211 children were among at least 260 people who died of malnutrition or disease en route to the camp since December, the latest UN figures show.
Britain revoked the citizenship of a teenager who left at 15 to join Daesh in Syria, while Austria and Switzerland have said they will not help bring home adults who joined the terrorist group.
But Moumtzis said states had a legal responsibility, especially for children, many of whom were born in Daesh camps. "Children should be treated first and foremost as victims" and "irrespective of family affiliation," he said.
The situation is further complicated because most states lack the capacity to offer consular services or access their nationals in the area. "There has to be a concerted effort, this is not about blaming or 'naming and shaming', but it's really about being practical and finding a way forward that would find a solution," the UN official said.