Macedonia arrests 20 murder suspects

Skopje, May 2: As many as 20 people suspected of murdering five men last month near a lake close to the capital city of Skopje have been arrested, Macedonian interior ministry has said.

Some of the arrested individuals have also fought on the Taliban side in Afghanistan and Pakistan against the NATO troops.

The arrested people were radical Islamists who were detained in a police operation called ‘Monster’ Tuesday morning in several villages around Skopje, Xinhua quoted Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska as saying.

Police raided about 26 locations during the operation and seized a large amount of weapons as well as some Islamic literature.

‘The arrested are radical Islamists and some of them had fought on the Taliban side in Afghanistan and Pakistan against NATO troops. They will be charged on terrorism,’ the minister said.

The arrested people intended to spread fear among the public, she added.

Though Jankulovska said that most of the arrested individuals were Macedonian citizens, the interior ministry neither revealed the names of the arrested people nor specified their ethnicity.

On April 12, a total of five men were found shot dead near a lake in the north of Skopje. Four of them were around 20 years old, and the fifth was in his 40s.

IANS