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Suspected Hizb Ut-Tahrir Leader Detained In Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz officials say a suspected leader of the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has been detained in the country's northeastern city of Karakol.

The Kyrgyz Interior Ministry said on February 19 that a 51-year-old man, whose name was not disclosed, was arrested after police found books, leaflets, and DVDs of an extremist nature.

The man has been previously convicted of Islamic extremist activities.

Last week, Kyrgyz officials said several suspected members of Hizb ut-Tahrir had been detained 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 young people and recruit them to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned across Central Asia and Russia, says it is peaceful.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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