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Turkey Extradites Macedonians Trying To Join Islamic State

Turkey has extradited five Macedonians for attempting to join the extremist Islamic State (IS) group.

The Macedonian Interior Ministry said on August 27 that the five were arrested by Turkish police, in collaboration with their Macedonian counterparts, two weeks ago in Istanbul.

The five were aged between 18 and 24 years old.

The ministry said several other people were also caught in the raid in Istanbul.

It added that those who were extradited were charged by Macedonian authorities and remain in custody.

It is illegal in Macedonia to join foreign armies or paramilitary groups.

Over the past year, Macedonia has sentenced 11 people attempting to join IS and has charged seven others.

Macedonian authorities said 25 of its citizens have been killed fighting with IS militants in Syria or Iraq and estimate that another 50 are still there fighting.

Predominantly Muslim ethnic Albanians make up more than 20 percent of Macedonia's population of some 2 million people.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP