A Kyrgyz government official has said that more than 30 Kyrgyz nationals were killed while fighting with Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq last year.
Stalbek Rakhmanov of the Interior Ministry said on January 15 that 508 Kyrgyz citizens had joined various Islamist militant groups in Syria and Iraq in 2015, including 387 men, 121 women, and 83 people younger than 18.
According to Rakhmanov, 40 Kyrgyz citizens returned from Syria and Iraq last year, while 33 were killed in clashes.
Authorities in Kyrgyzstan and other mainly Muslim former Soviet republics in Central Asia say hundreds of their citizens have fought alongside Islamic State militants and other extremists in Syria and Iraq.
The IS group seized large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory in a lightning offensive in June 2014.