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Islamic Clerics In Kyrgyzstan To Attend Training Courses

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- All Islamic clerics in Kyrgyzstan's southern Batken region will be required to attend a one-month training course administered by the state, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The program -- which will last for about two years so that all Islamic clerics in the region can take it -- is aimed at improving the educational level of all imams and to teach local mullahs how to recognize and battle against extremist Islamic organizations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir.

There are currently 262 registered Islamic clerics in Batken and about 15 mullahs will take the course each month.

Sultan Hajji Gafurov, chief of Batken's religious board, told RFE/RL that the courses will begin on June 1 and trainees will receive certificates at the conclusion of the course.