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    In Belgium 457 fighters left for Syria or Iraq

    Per recent figures from CUTA (Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis), 457 Belgians have, at some time or other, left to fight in Syria or in Iraq, or wanted to do so. For the first time, a distinction has been able to be made between men, women and children. The Belgian news channel VTM Nieuws (VTM) is currently (Wednesday) reporting this.

    The last analysis of this kind at the beginning of 2016 had a total of 451 Syrian fighters. Out of the total 266 fighters presently located in Syria or Iraq, of whom there are 51 women and 38 Belgian minors, it is possible that 90 may have been killed at the front. VTM are strenuously claiming this.

    However VTM does go further stating that there is no official confirmation of this latter figure.

    In the current analysis, amongst a total of 457 fighters, there are 86 women and 43 children. It is possible that 114 have left these two countries, whilst four individuals may also be on the way to join them.

    In January, there were 59 individuals stopped as they were planning to go to these combat zones, compared to the current 73.

    Moreover, eleven identity cards were withdrawn to avoid potential departures abroad.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)