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Shamima Begum baby death one of dozens in Syrian refugee camp

11 March 2019

The Sunday Times, quoting legal sources, identifed them as Reema Iqbal and her sister, Zara, from east London.

The infant son of Shamima Begum, a teenager who left London to join the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has died, a spokesperson for the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Friday.

Begum is now believed to be in a refugee camp closer to the Iraqi border after being removed from the Al-Hol camp in the north of Syria due to alleged threats following the worldwide media attention she attracted.

The parents of the sisters are originally from Pakistan, but it is not known if they have dual nationality.

They married into a terrorist cell linked to the murder of western hostages, according to The Sunday Times.

CCTV of Shamima Begum leaving at Gatwick Airport in 2015
Camera IconCCTV of Shamima Begum leaving at Gatwick Airport

Begum had previously given birth to two other children who are said to have died, apparently from illness and malnutrition.

At one point, she told the BBC that although she was unhappy that innocent people had been killed, she thought the 2017 bombing of an arena in Manchester was "fair justification" in response to coalition airstrikes that have killed women and children in Syria.

Following the incident, British politicians and members of the public criticised the Home Office for calling Begum a "security risk" and revoking her citizenship, with some even blaming Javid for the baby's death.

A spokesman added: "Any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not ten lightly".

The conflicting reports of the baby's well-being follow a plea from Begum's London-based family to United Kingdom home secretary Sajid Javid to assist them in bringing the baby back to the United Kingdom based on his rights as a British citizen.

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The lawyer for the family of Shamima Begum, Mohammed T Akunjee, said: "I can confirm that it is our understanding that Shamima has been moved from Al-Hol due to safety concerns around her and her baby".

It reported that the sisters left for Syria in 2013.

Ms Begum's family have pleaded for the mother and her child to be allowed to come back to Britain.

Reports say Jarrah died on Friday of pneumonia.

Dal Babu, a former Metropolitan Police chief superintendent and friend of Ms Begum's family, told BBC Newsnight: "We've failed, as a country, to safeguard the child".

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Shamima Begum, who joined the Daesh* terror group in Syria back in 2015, when she was aged 15.

Her case has highlighted a dilemma facing many European countries, divided over whether to allow militants and IS sympathisers home to face prosecution or bar them from entry as the militants' "caliphate" crumbles.

"Many of us feared this tragic outcome when the Home Secretary washed his hands of Britain's responsibility for a British citizen and a British baby", he added.

Worldwide law prohibits countries from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship. She had already lost two children.

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Shamima Begum baby death one of dozens in Syrian refugee camp