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Baghdad: An Iraqi court has sentenced 16 Turkish women to death for joining the militant group Islamic State (IS), a judicial spokesman said.

Abdul Sattar al-Biraqdar, spokesman for Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council, said on Sunday the convicted women confessed that they married IS militants and provided them logistical support, Xinhua news agency reported.

Biraqdar added that all the sentences are preliminary and subject to review by the Court of Cassation.

Last week, the court issued a verdict of death penalty for a female Turkish citizen and issued 10 verdicts of life sentences for other women from different countries, according to an earlier statement by Biraqdar.

On Thursday, the Iraqi authorities handed over four women and 27 children from IS families to Russia, after being cleared of charges of involvement in terrorist operations against civilians or security forces, Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

Also on Thursday, an Iraqi newspaper reported that more than 1,500 foreign women and children from the families of IS militants are being held by the Iraqi authorities, which are coordinating with the countries of origin to decide their fate.

Saad al-Hadithi, spokesman of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's media office, confirmed that all "foreign nationals who committed crimes and violations against the people of Iraq, whether directly or by supporting the terrorist IS militants, will be subject to the Iraqi law."

"This also applies to foreign women (of IS families) who committed such actions inside the Iraqi territories," Hadithi said.

After the Iraqi forces defeated IS in Iraq in 2017, hundreds of IS loyalists were killed or captured, while many others are still at large in hideouts in Iraq or abroad.

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