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Italy Announces Arrest of 40 People Linked to Islamic Groups

Italian police have arrested 40 people linked to Islamic groups in nationwide raids as part of a security crackdown.

Authorities say 28 of the detainees were charged with violating rules on residence permits and 12 with other minor offenses. But they said none face terrorism charges. Officials say they also issued 114 expulsion orders as part of the same operation.

The raids focused on Islamic gathering places, including telephone call centers, Internet cafes and offices for sending cash abroad.

Officers also raided 15 apartments, mostly those of Pakistanis, in cooperation with a Belgian police investigation into suspected financing of terrorist groups.

The raids, Thursday and Friday, followed Thursday's arrest in Britain of 24 people suspected in an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners over the Atlantic Ocean.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.