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Russian police detain suspected radical Islamists in Moscow

Russian police said Wednesday they had detained 14 people suspected of being members of the radical Islamist group Takfir wal-Hijra carrying ammunition and an explosive suicide belt.

Russia detains IslamistsEnlarge
A screen grab from Russia's Life News shows police arresting alleged Islamic extremists in Moscow on November 26, 2013. (Russia's Life News/Screengrab)

Russian police said Wednesday they had detained 14 people suspected of belonging to the radical Islamist group Takfir wal-Hijra, confiscating weapons and what they called a suicide belt.

The alleged operatives of the banned sect were detained on Tuesday night in eastern Moscow during a special operation by police and security forces.

They found three homemade explosives, pistols, grenades, ammunition and extremist literature at the site of the raid, as well as the explosive belt.

Officials said another alleged member of the group was arrested separately in Moscow later on Wednesday.

Russian TV footage captured the drama at an apartment building. It showed police swarming a highrise and confronting the alleged radicals.

The broadcasts also showed officers recovering bags that held the weapons as well as what one unnamed officer says is the suicide belt.

Police said the group — first formed in Egypt in the late 1960s and outlawed in Russia in 2010 — had been funding its activities by "conducting general crime."

No information was available on whether the group was planning a terrorist attack.

Russian police have encountered the group recently, arresting a man in early November they said was recruiting girls to join Takfir wal-Hijra.

More from GlobalPost: Russian lawmakers approve new anti-terrorist bill

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/131127/russian-police-detain-suspected-radical-islamists-moscow