Boy, 3, freed from Libyan prison

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

TU­NIS, Tu­nisia — A 3-year-old Tu­nisian or­phan whose par­ents left home to join the Is­lamic State group has re­turned to his grand­fa­ther’s cus­tody af­ter spend­ing more than a year in a Libyan prison.

Trilling joy­fully, a small crowd gath­ered at the air­port late Wed­nes­day in Tu­nis as Tamim Jan­doubi and his grand­fa­ther walked through the ter­mi­nal build­ing.

The child was taken away by am­bu­lance and was un­der ob­ser­va­tion Thurs­day in a hospi­tal.

Tamim’s grand­fa­ther, Faouzi Tra­belsi, has fought to re­cover the child since learn­ing last fall that his mother and fa­ther had died in an airstrike on a Libyan Is­lamic State camp in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Tamim was taken to a prison in Tripoli, along with other wi­d­ows and or­phans of for­eign fight­ers. They are caught in limbo af­ter the mil­i­tant group’s re­treat, with their home coun­tries hes­i­tat­ing to take them back.

“We were in Tripoli 11 days and we fi­nally suc­ceeded in get­ting him back af­ter a huge ef­fort,” Tra­belsi said.

Tamim was the only child freed. Taw­fik al-Gasmi, a Tu­nisian diplo­mat in Tripoli, Libya, said he ex­pects the re­main­ing Tu­nisian chil­dren to re­turn from the prison soon.

Tamim is among hun­dreds of chil­dren fa­thered by Is­lamic State’s for­eign fight­ers or brought to the self-pro­claimed caliphate. Their par­ents dead or im­pris­oned, many are in le­gal limbo.

Lit­tle Tamim was liv­ing among about two dozen Tu­nisian women and their chil­dren, be­ing raised by a wo­man who had joined the Is­lamic State group will­ingly.

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