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Albania arrests 7 for alleged Syria recruiting

March 11, 2014

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities say they have arrested seven Muslims, including two imams, for allegedly recruiting men to enlist with rebel groups fighting in Syria.

A police statement said the suspects were arrested on Tuesday in the capital, Tirana, and two other cities. All seven were charged with promoting terrorist activities. If convicted, they could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

The statement said police found an assault rifle, two hand grenades and explosives in two of the suspects’ houses.

About two-thirds of Albania’s 3.2 million inhabitants are Muslims. Religious leaders have appealed to believers not to join rebel groups in Syria.

Albanian media have said scores of Albanians have done that and at least two have died in Syria.

The government has not commented about the issue.

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