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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 16:16 GMT
Egypt deports 'terror suspects'
Cairo airport
The group was flown on a commercial jet from Cairo airport
Egypt has deported eight French and two Belgian citizens it arrested on suspicion of trying to recruit people to fight in Iraq, airport sources say.

The 10 were put on a flight from Cairo to Brussels, the officials said.

It was not clear whether the group would be arrested or freed when they arrived in Europe.

Egyptian security sources said the group had links to several terrorist organisations, and to a man who blew himself up on the Syrian border.

"The investigation revealed that these people were seeking to recruit more elements, convert them to their destructive doctrine, incite them to jihad and encourage them to travel to Iraq via third countries to carry out operations," an Egyptian interior ministry statement released on Monday said.

The group was living in Egypt using the study of Islam and the Arabic language as a cover, the ministry said.

The group was arrested about two weeks ago, the ministry said.

In all, nine Frenchmen, two Belgians and one American were held, as well as a number of Egyptians, Syrians and Tunisians.

The ninth Frenchman and the American are thought still to be in Egyptian custody. The others' fate is not clear.

The Europeans were not named but were said to be of North African origin.

None of them has been charged with any offences, Reuters said.


SEE ALSO
Egypt holds 'foreign terror cell'
04 Dec 06 |  Middle East

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