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Kyrgyz Detain Five Suspected Members Of Hizb ut-Tahrir

NARYN, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz officials say five suspected members of the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir have been detained, the latest in a series of arrests targeting the group.

Law enforcement authorities in the Naryn region said on March 2 that the five susepcts, whose identities were not disclosed, had been arrested in the regional capital and villages accross the region after police found books with extremist content in their homes.

Reports of arrests of alleged members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and other banned Islamic groups have increased in recent weeks in Kyrgyzstan.

In February, officials said several suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir members had been apprehended across the country.

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 Central Asia and in Russia, says it is peaceful.