Sudanese security agents on Monday brought home a four-month-old baby girl whose parents were killed in Libya while fighting for the jihadist Islamic State group, a security official said.
The infant, born to Sudanese parents, was brought to Khartoum after the Libyan Red Crescent alerted Sudan’s powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).
“The mother and father of the baby were IS fighters who were killed in Sirte during the fighting to liberate” the city from the group, the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) reported Brigadier Tijani Ibrahim of NISS as saying.
The baby’s mother had travelled to Libya in August 2015 along with four other Sudanese girls, the media outlet close to NISS reported Ibrahim as saying.
“There they joined IS and also married Sudanese men who were members of IS,” he said.
The baby’s grandfather said the child was brought to Sudan from the Libyan city of Misrata.
Libyan authorities, who found the baby handed her over to the Libyan Red Crescent, who then contacted NISS to return the infant to Sudan, the SMC report said.
“I had heard that my daughter had left behind a baby she had from a Sudanese member of IS,” Alithi Yousef told SMC.
“After what was a complicated operation conducted in coordination with NISS and Libyan officials, we were able to bring back the baby,” he said.
Sudanese officials say dozens of young Sudanese have joined IS.
Several groups of students from Sudan — some holding Western passports — are said to have travelled to Syria, Iraq and Libya to join the group.
Sudanese media has reported the deaths of some of the students while fighting for the group in the three countries.
Libya’s unity government in December officially announced the end of military operations in Sirte, after its forces retook what was the group’s last major bastion in the country.
Libya descended into chaos following the NATO-backed ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with rival administrations and militias vying for control of its vast oil wealth.
The infighting and lawlessness allowed extremist groups such as IS to seize several coastal regions, giving the jihadists a toehold on Europe’s doorstep.