BAGHDAD, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The government of Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan handed over hundreds of Islamic State (IS) militants to the central government in Baghdad, a Kurdish official said on Monday.
"Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) started an joint operation with Baghdad to hand over Daesh (IS group) detainees to the federal authorities," a KRG official Dindar Zebari said in a statement.
Up to 576 IS militants detained over charges of terrorism were handed over to Risafa investigation court in Baghdad through the Interior Ministry, Zebari said, adding that the detainees were transferred through five flights.
Another 277 IS detainees were handed over to the investigation court of Nineveh province following a decision by the Asayish (Kurdish security) investigation court in Erbil, Zebari said.
He revealed that the Kurdish forces arrested 2,652 individuals over joining the IS or having links to the terrorist group between 2014 and 2016, asserting that some 1,100 detainees were found guilty and were sentenced ranged from three years to life imprisonment.
Zebari added that the Kurdish forces arrested 709 IS militants and suspects in 2017, and 279 of them were released for having no relations to the IS.