2013-04-19 10:00:00

Kyrgyz mosques to be checked for recruitment of militants for Syria

Osh, April 19, Interfax - The Kyrgyz State Commission on Religious Affairs is verifying the alleged involvement of certain mosques in the recruitment of Kyrgyz citizens for hostilities in Syria.

Residents of Kyzyl-Kyya, southern Batken region, appealed to the commission. They asked for assistance in the return of young men from Turkey: the families feared the young men might be sent to Syria, a commission representative told Interfax.

The commission received similar reports of the departure of young men to Turkey from the Aravan district, southern Osh region.

The commission turned for help to the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry in order to establish the whereabouts of the Kyrgyz citizens in Turkey and assist in their return to the home country.

Commission specialists are visiting southern Kyrgyzstan "for a detailed analysis of the situation, meeting with families of the departed citizens and verifying information about the alleged involvement of certain mosques in those trips," the source said.

Deputy Dastan Jumabekov said at a parliament meeting on April 17 that "teenagers are being recruited in the Aravan district of the Osh region and being convinced to go to Syria." Supposedly, they are being recruited for fighting in Syria and are transported there via Turkey.

A police source in southern Kyrgyzstan told Interfax that a group of men had left to join the fighting in Syria from Kyzyl-Kyya. The young men departed under the pretext of religious education. According to tentative reports, men sent to Syria via Turkey are ethnic Kyrgyz, Uzbeks and Tajiks.