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BISHKEK -- Two women have been arrested in Bishkek for allegedly being members of the banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Interior Ministry officials told RFE/RL that the women have been charged with propagating religious extremism. Two more women were officially ordered not to leave the country while an investigation into their activities is conducted.

The ministry officials said the four women have been calling on other women in Bishkek and the neighboring Chui Province to help promote the creation of an Islamic state in Central Asia.

Several women have been detained on similar charges in southern Kyrgyz regions as well.

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) is an international Islamic organization that seeks to unify predominantly Muslim countries into an Islamic state. It is banned in Central Asia and Russia, but is legal in most Western countries.

Hizb ut-Tahrir officials say they advocate peaceful means in reaching their goals.

Read more in Kyrgyz here