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Recruiters for Syria-Based Extremists Detained in Kyrgyzstan

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Security forces detained recruiters who had been urging Kyrgyz citizens to join extremists fighting in Syria.

BISHKEK (Sputnik) — Recruiters working for an international extremist organization, who have been recruiting Kyrgyz citizens to join the war in Syria, have been detained by security forces in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, the press service of Kyrgyzstan's State Committee on National Security (GKNB) said on Tuesday.

"GKNB, in the course of an operation to detect and prevent the smuggling of recruits of international terrorist organizations participating in the war in Syria, identified and arrested Zh. F., born in 1992, and A. B., born in 1966, in Bishkek," the press-service said in a statement.

According to the statement, an investigation revealed that the detainees are officially wanted in one of the neighboring countries, and in February of this year, illegally crossed the state border of Kyrgyzstan.

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A criminal case has been opened against the detainees.

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with a number of opposition factions and extremist Islamic groups fighting the Syrian Army in an attempt to topple the government.

Last year, Kyrgyzstan’s Interior Ministry identified over 200 instances of recruitment into foreign militant groups. Over 20 people were arrested on charges of recruiting new militants.

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