Banned religious party steps up activities in southern Kyrgyzstan

Emissaries of the Hezb-e Tahrir religious-extremist party, which is banned in Kyrgyzstan, have appeared in the remote mountainous Districts of Osh Region (Alay, Chon-Alay and Kara-Kuldzha) [southern Kyrgyzstan], Marat Imankulov, the head of the Region's National Security Service directorate, said at a meeting of representatives of the local state bodies and public organizations yesterday.

According to the police, today more than 1,500 Hezb-e Tahrir followers are registered at the law-enforcement agencies in Osh Region.

The heads of the law-enforcement agencies think that supporters of the radical movement are stepping up their activities primarily among the unemployed and the poor. "Under the banner of fighting terrorism, the West is attacking the strong positions of Islam in the world," according to an argument disseminated recently among followers of the underground movement.

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"Forcible methods of fighting this dangerous movement are not very effective. There is a need for joint efforts of various sectors of society," participants in the meeting said in conclusion.