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'Chinese student held in Iraq not IS linked'

IANS  |  Beijing 

A Chinese archaeology student captured by the Iraqi volunteer forces has no links with the Islamic State (IS) terror group and will be sent home soon, a media report said here on Monday.

"We have verified with local police. They do not think that the Chinese man is a terrorist... will ensure his safety," a Chinese embassy official in Iraq told the Global Times over the weekend.

The response came after the Fars News Agency reported on July 15 that the volunteer forces, Hashad al-Shabi, seized the student while fighting among the IS ranks in Iraq's Anbar province. It also posted a picture of an Asian-looking man who was sitting in a chair and was guarded by armed men.

The embassy official said the man was being held in a police station in Samarra, a city in Salahuddin province.

The man was later identified as Liu Wei, an archaeology student from Peking University who went to Iraq for an archaeological tour.

"Liu went to Iraq to visit historical sites, as some of them are disappearing. He learned some simple Arabic and customs related to Ramadan before entering the country," Liu's friend said on Saturday.

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First Published: Mon, July 20 2015. 19:26 IST