BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz officials say several suspected members of the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir have been apprehended across the country.
Officials in the northern district of Jety-Oguz said on February 10 that four local men have been detained after investigators found a gun and "extremist" printed and electronic texts at their homes in the village of Ak-Terek.
Another suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir member was reportedly apprehended in the southern Batken Province on February 10.
On February 9, officials in the southern region of Osh province said they detained a local imam for being a member of the group.
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.