An emotional reunion

A woman in Winnipeg tightly embraced her 12-year-old son for the first time in three years Thursday morning when the child was reunited with his family after his liberation from Iraqi militants.

Cheers went up from a large crowd on hand when Emad Mishko Tamo arrived at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, just weeks after he was freed from captivity.

He was separated from his mother after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant displaced thousands of members of the Kurdish-minority Yazidis in 2014, but he was freed earlier this summer in the city of Mosul.

His mother has been living in Winnipeg as a refugee but it wasn't until a relative recognized his photo on social media that she knew her son was still alive.

Emad was brought to Winnipeg through the efforts of the Yazidi Association of Manitoba.

A refugee co-ordinator says the boy, who is still recovering from gunshot wounds, will be closely monitored by doctors while he settles into his new life in Winnipeg.

"Thank you Canada," said Emad while surrounded by a throng of relatives and supporters at the airport.

Speaking through an interpreter, the boy said there are a thousand other children like him who are still being held captive and he wants to share his story so that they can be helped.

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