Authorities in Tajikistan have arrested 12 men suspected of recruiting residents of the northern province of Sughd to fight alongside Islamic militants in Syria.
Interior Ministry officials in the regional capital, Khujand, told RFE/RL on November 12 that police had found two guns and ammunition at the house the suspected ringleader, Najmiddin Shamsiev.
Investigators say the arrestees were members of a group with links to a banned Islamic organization, Jamaat Ansarullah.
One of the group’s activists, Nozim Nematov, was detained in Kyrgyzstan this month while trying to leave for Syria.
The 12 suspects have been charged with organizing a criminal group and illegal weapons possession.
Authorities in Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries have said hundreds of their citizens have traveled to Syria to join militants fighting against government forces.