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Kyrgyz Detain Alleged Leader Of Female Hizb Ut-Tahrir Cell

Kyrgyz police have detained a woman authorities accuse of leading a female cell of the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The Interior Ministry said on March 18 that the woman, whose name was not disclosed, has been a fugitive since 2013.

It said she was detained on March 17 during a search conducted by local police in the southern Batken province.

The ministry said searches in the provonce were linked to the investigation of a case against a local religious leader, Rashod Kamalov, who was arrested last month for alleged ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir.

In a statement, it said that four guns, ammunition, and materials with extremist content have been found by police searching homes of alleged followers of Kamalov across the province.

Reports of arrests of alleged members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and other banned Islamic groups have increased in recent weeks in Kyrgyzstan, though arrests of female suspects are rare.

Kyrgyz authorities say Hizb ut-Tahrir plays a role in a strategy used by Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants to radicalize youth and recruit them to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned across former Soviet Central Asia and in Russia, says it is peaceful.

Based on reporting AKIpress and KyrTAG