January 11, 2016 / 4:23 PM / 2 years ago

Bosnia holds four for intending to join Islamic State, seizes weapons

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnian police detained five people on suspicion of planning to join Islamic State and seized a cache of weapons and ammunition in raids in the northwest of the country on Monday, police said. One of the five was later released.

The operation followed similar raids in the Sarajevo area in December when 11 people were arrested on suspicion of having links with the militant group. Eight of them were remanded in custody.

In Monday's swoop, two people were arrested at the border with Montenegro and another three near the northwestern town of Velika Kladusa, police said.

Police seized hand grenades, land mines, ammunition, a machete, an Islamic State flag and material for printing the group's insignia.

Prosecutors said another Bosnian was arrested in Turkey while trying to reach Syria and returned to Bosnia.

Police say more than 150 people from the ex-Yugoslav republic have left to fight for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, of whom nearly 30 are believed to have been killed in fighting and more than 50 have returned to Bosnia.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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