Shoes are stacked on shelves at the state-run Salhiya Orphanage, which hosts foreign and Iraqi children of Islamic State militants, in Baghdad, Iraq. File picture: Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Baghdad - Iraq said on Wednesday it has handed over 188 children of Islamic State militants to Turkey.

"The central investigation court in charge of terrorism and foreign suspects has handed over to the Turkish side 188 children left by the terrorist Daesh [Islamic State] in Iraq," said judicial spokesman Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar.

The spokesman added that they included a small percentage of adults who were convicted of illegally crossing the border and having their residencies expired.

The handover took place in the presence of a representative from the Iraqi foreign ministry, another from the Turkish embassy in Baghdad and international organizations, including UNICEF, he added.

The Iraqi government declared military victory over Islamic State in December 2017, three years after the militia seized large swathes in the northern part of the country.

Islamic State operatives, however, continue to carry out attacks and kidnappings across Iraq.

dpa