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Kyrgyz Man Suspected Of Sending 60 Citizens To Fight In Syria

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz man suspected of sending 60 fellow citizens to fight alongside Islamist militants in Syria has been questioned by investigators in the southern city of Osh.

The spokesman for the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security, Rakhat Sulaimanov, told RFE/RL on January 13 that the 21-year-old suspect, a native of Osh, had confessed that he used an apartment he rented in Istanbul, Turkey, as a transit base for the recruits.

Sulaimanov said the suspect’s father, a retired law enforcement officer, travelled to Turkey to bring his son back to Kyrgyzstan and handed him to investigators.

Officials in Kyrgyzstan and other former Soviet republics in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia say that hundreds of their citizens have fought alongside Islamic State militants and other Islamist forces that are fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.