Uzbekistan detains 21 on suspicion of Syrian militant links

TASHKENT (Reuters) – Uzbek police have detained 21 people suspected of being linked to an Islamist militant group operating in Syria, police said on Wednesday.

Police said the detained men were under the “ideological influence” of another Uzbek man who was a member of the Katiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group comprised mostly of Central Asians.

They planned to finance the group and join it, police said in a statement.

Thousands of people from the predominantly Muslim ex-Soviet region joined various Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq when Islamic State temporarily seized part of their territory.

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