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Kosovar Court Jails Seven For Alleged Recruiting, Fighting For Islamic State

Militants allegedly from Kosovo, Serbia, and other Balkan states in an Islamic State propaganda film

A court in Kosovo said it sentenced seven ethnic Albanians to jail for fighting for the Islamic State and recruiting on behalf of the militant group.

The men, all Kosovar citizens who were identified only by their initials, were sentenced to between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 years in jail, the Pristina court said on January 19.

The online news site reported that some of the men acknowledged having fought with anti-government forces in Syria, while others said they had gone to assist Syrian refugees in Turkey. A few expressed regret for going to Syria, the news site said.

Police said around 300 Kosovars have joined IS and more than 50 have been killed. More than 200 people in Kosovo have been arrested, jailed, or are under investigation for recruiting on behalf of IS or fighting in Syria and Iraq.

More than 90 percent of Kosovars are Muslim, but they are mostly secular.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters