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Kosovo Says No New Cases Of Citizens Joining IS In Iraq, Syria

  • RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Kosovar Interior Minister Skender Hyseni says there have been no recorded cases in the past year of citizens joining the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq.

"It is now a year that we did not record any case of the departure of the citizens of Kosovo in foreign wars," Hyseni said on August 24, adding that authorities should still not be "comfortable."

Pristina has come under pressure for a perceived failure to crack down on Middle East-funded Islamic charities and radical religious figures blamed on young Kosovars joining extremist groups.

More than 300 people from Kosovo have gone to fight for extremist groups in the Middle East, making it the biggest contributor per capita in Europe.

Kosovo authorities say around 50 homegrown jihadists have been killed in fighting in Syria and Iraq and around 120 have returned to Kosovo.

More than 100 people in Kosovo have been arrested or are under investigation for recruiting or fighting abroad on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group.