Kazakhstan says scores of children evacuated from Syria
Kazakhstan said Friday (May 10th) it had evacuated 231 of its citizens, most of them children, from Syria after they travelled or were taken there to join the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), AFP reported.
The operation to repatriate 156 children and 75 adults took place between May 7th and May 9th, Kazakhstan's presidency said in a statement.
The evacuation follows a similar operation in January that saw 43 Kazakhs returned to the country, some of whom were subsequently arrested for extremism-related crimes.
In the statement on Friday, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev characterised the earlier operation as a success.
"Women abandoned their radical past, got a job, restored ties with relatives. The children went to schools and kindergartens," he said.
"The influence of destructive false propaganda of terrorists" had persuaded Kazakhs to travel to Syria, he said.