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Bangladesh says IS teen Shamima Begum not eligible for citizenship

Renu Begum holds a picture of her sister Shamima Begum. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Dhaka, Bangladesh Feb 21, 2019, 11.21 AM (IST)

A British teen who joined the Islamic State group has no claim to Bangladeshi nationality, Dhaka's foreign ministry said Wednesday, after the UK government decided to revoke her citizenship.

Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria in 2015 and now wants to return to Britain after giving birth in a refugee camp in Syria last week, was stripped of her UK citizenship on Tuesday.

The Home Office reportedly believed that Begum was entitled to claim citizenship in Bangladesh -- a claim disputed by the South Asian country.

"Bangladesh asserts that Ms Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She is a British citizen by birth and has never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"It may also be mentioned that she never visited Bangladesh in the past despite her parental lineage. So, there is no question of her being allowed to enter into Bangladesh," it added.

Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer for Begum's family, earlier said the teen was born in Britain and had never had a Bangladeshi passport. 

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Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer for Shamima Begum's family, earlier said the teen was born in Britain and had never had a Bangladeshi passport.