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Terror Suspect Held By Russia Armenian From Kazakhstan

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

A man detained by Russian authorities in July for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria has been identified as an ethnic Armenian from Kazakhstan.

Officials at Russia's North Caucasus Regional Military Court told RFE/RL on April 8 that 24-year-old Vazgen Zargarian from Almaty was currently in a pretrial detention center in the city of Rostov-on-Don.

Zargarian has been charged with the intention of joining the extremist group and preparing to take part in terrorism-related activities abroad.

Investigators said Zargarian tried at least twice to join up with IS militants in Syria through the Turkish border.

Central Asian states have said that hundreds of their citizens have joined IS extremists and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

The majority of ethnic Armenians are Christians.