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Azerbaijan Arrests 8 Men Accused of Joining IS

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Azerbaijan has arrested eight men it accuses of joining the ranks of Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, government authorities said Friday.

The Azeri nationals "were trained in Islamic State training camps in 2012-2015 and took part in fighting in Syria and within the ranks of terrorist groups," the National Security Ministry said in a statement.

The men “participated in radical religious and military training and gained experience in the use of firearms of various types,” the government said. “Upon completion of the training, they participated in the fighting actively.”

The government said a former member of the Soviet military trained the men in firearms use and combat.

Fighting in foreign wars is a criminal offense in Azerbaijan.