Kosovo police arrest 40 in major operation against suspected Islamic radicals

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Kosovo police say they have arrested at least 40 people in a major operation targeting Islamic radicals suspected of fighting alongside extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Spokesman Baki Kelani said weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized early Monday as hundreds of police officers and special police units raided 60 locations across Kosovo, including makeshift mosques believed to have served as recruiting centres.

The police operation is the largest ever against suspected Islamic radicals in Kosovo. Authorities have been on alert as a growing number of ethnic Albanians have joined militants in Syria and Iraq and appeared on social media in attempts to lure more followers.

Police say at least 16 Kosovars have been killed in Iraq and Syria. Kosovo's ethnic Albanians are overwhelmingly Muslim.