Delhi: There may be 23 Indians in Iraq and Syria fighting for the terror group Islamic State, as per Indian intelligence agencies.
As per a report in CNN IBN, out of the 23 Indians who are in ISIS, 17 are from southern states.
Four belong to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, four are from Kerala, three from Tamil Nadu, four from Maharashtra, one from Jammu and Kashmir and one from Uttar Pradesh.
The report named them as follows - Abdul Qudus Turki (Bijapur), Md. Umar Subahan (Bangalore), Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar (Bhatkal), Faiz Masood (Bangalore), Md. Riyaz (Bhatkal), Shameel Yakub (Kodagu).
Others are named as - Zeba Farheen (Hyderabad), Talmeezur Rahaman (Guntur), Atif Ahmed khan (Hyderabad), Athif Vaseem Mohammad (Adilabad), Md. Rishal (Kannur), Md. Irfan Iqbal (Kannur), Huda Raheem (Kozhikode), Riyazur Rehman (Kozhikode), Md. Thayyib Shaik (Vellore), Md. Syed Abu Tahir (Karur) and Shakul Hameed (Chennai).
The above pattern indicates that the ISIS are targeting the southern states.
Meanwhile, six out of the 23 Indians who had joined the terror network are said to have died, while two have returned, as per reports.
On December 26, in a joint operation by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and Telangana Police, three youths from Hyderabad were arrested at the international airport in Nagpur while they were allegedly on their way to join the ISIS.
"We got information that the youth would be boarding the early morning flight from Nagpur to Srinagar," a senior ATS officer had told PTI.
They were residents of Humayun Nagar Gulshan Iqbal Colony in Hyderabad and were reported missing, he said.
(With Agency inputs)