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Wednesday, 4 April, 2001, 21:42 GMT 22:42 UK
Kyrgyz PM tough on Islamic extremism

The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, says the activities of Islamic religious educational institutions need tight monitoring - particularly those based in the south of the country.

Speaking on state radio, Mr Bakiyev said that while the state and religion were separated, religious institutions still had to observe Kyrgyz laws.

Mr Bakiyev was responding to reports from law enforcement agencies which say there has been a three-fold increase in the number of young men detained for distributing literature belonging to extremist Islamic groups.

The radio report said the police had stepped up seizures of extremist materials, which it said call for Kyrgyzstan's secular society to be overthrown.

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