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Ukraine Says Islamists Planned To Kill Crimean Tatar Leader

KYIV -- Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko says members of a radical Islamic movement arrested on October 26 planned to kill the leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Lutsenko said that information about the operational plans of an extremist group called At-Takfir wal-Hidjra to murder Dzhemilev was discovered
after a special operation by security officers on October 23.

Lutsenko said the special operation took place in several Crimean districts and that a significant amount of explosives, extremist literature, and manuals for using firearms were confiscated from the alleged members of the extremist group.

He added that the leaders of the movement issued a fatwa to kill Dzhemilev and some of his associates for their criticism of radical Islam.

Dzhemilev, who is the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Assembly, is a prominent Soviet-era dissident who spent many years in the Soviet gulag for his human rights activities.