04/20/2013, 00.00
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Central Asian mosques supplying young Muslims for Syrian war

Some parliamentarians demand greater clarity on the alleged recruitment of young Islamist volunteers for the Syrian conflict. Mosques in the south of the country inspected.

Bishkek (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Over 20 young Islamists are believed to have left southern Kyrgyzstan to join the rebel front in Syria. The episode was reported by the Ata-Jurt conservative nationalist party member Dastanbek Dzhumabekov, who on 17 April asked parliament to open an investigation.

According to the MP, the youth were recruited in mosques in southern Kyrgyzstan and flown to Syria through Turkey. Mametbek Myrzabaev, an official of the State Committee for Religious Affairs, confirms that last month 7 young people between the ages of eighteen and twenty years left the Batken region in the south of the country.

Recruitment attempts by the Syrian Islamist fringes have also been reported in many Middle Eastern countries and beyond. Last month, the Tunisian government opened an investigation into the alleged militancy of dozens of Tunisians among rebel groups. The young Islamists left the country on tourist visas for Libya or Turkey, from where they can then easily enter Syria.

Similar incidents have also occurred in Europe, where data published by the King's College of London reported that since the beginning of March 2011, more than 600 activists from 14 countries have joined the Islamist brigades in the fight to Assad. On 16 April, the Brussels police made forty-six checks for suspected involvement in terrorist activities.


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