Six Islamist terrorists have been arrested in Crimea by Russia’s FSB security services, a senior official in the occupied peninsula has said.
The arrests of members of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir were unrelated to a recent series of explosions in Crimea, which yesterday rocked a military base and damaged infrastructure.
“All are detained. The activities of the terrorists were coordinated, as expected, from the territory of the terrorist state of Ukraine,” Sergei Aksyonov, the official, said on Telegram.
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, which wants to restore control over the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
Aksyonov said the suspects were members of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in Russia.
An FSB statement did not say whether those detained were linked to explosions at a base in Dzhankoi in northern Crimea on Tuesday and last week at a Russian military base in western Crimea, where Satellite images showed that eight Russian fighter jets had been destroyed.
But he mentioned Dzhankoi, as well as the city of Yalta, as the two places where the alleged cell was “neutralized”. On Tuesday, Russian authorities blamed saboteurs for the explosions in Dzhankoi.
The FSB said the cell had recruited local Muslims and accused it of carrying out terrorist activities.