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Russia Says 55 Members of Militant Islamic Group Arrested - 2003-06-09

Russian officials say Federal Security Service (FSB) agents have arrested at least 55 members of the militant Islamic organization Hizbi Tahrir.

A FSB spokesman told journalists in Moscow that among those arrested was the leader of the group's Moscow cell, Kyrgyz national Allisher Musayev, and an active cell member from Tajikistan, Akram Dzhalolov. The spokesman said the agents also seized explosives and grenades during the raid late Friday.

Russian officials said the group aims to set up a Muslim state in Central Asia. In February, the Russian Supreme Court banned Hizbi Tahrir and several similar groups from operating in Russia, listing them as terrorist organizations.