BEIRUT

Middle East

Rabat arrests recruiters for Iraq-Syria fighting

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (R) speaks with his Moroccan counterpart Salaheddine Mezouar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Rabat city June 16, 2014.(REUTERS/Stringer)

RABAT: Morocco's Interior Ministry says that it has dismantled a cell recruiting Moroccans to fight for extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Wednesday's statement said that six men were arrested in the central city of Fez, including one who had previously been detained under the terrorism law.

While Morocco has been largely spared the terrorist attacks striking elsewhere in North Africa, police frequently report dismantling cells sending fighters to hotspots like Mali and Syria.

The statement warned that many of the fighters hope to return after being trained, to carry out attacks in Morocco.

Police say 900 Moroccans are fighting in Syria and 100 have been arrested upon their return.

Other recruitment cells were dismantled last May in the Spanish enclave of Melilla and in Fez.

 

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