Authorities in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan say they have arrested two leaders of a banned Islamic group.
The Interior Ministry said on February 15 that two underground Islamic schools, or madrasahs, propagating ideas of an Islamic group called Nurcular were found during raids in Tatarstan’s second-largest city of Naberezhnye Chelny one day earlier.
Some 30 members of the group have been questioned by police.
Nurcular has been banned in Russia since 2007.
Authorities say Nurcular propagates the idea of creating an Islamic state on lands where indigenous peoples speak Turkic languages. Nurcular denies that charge.
Tatarstan’s authorities began checking all religious groups in the republic after police in August last year found an Islamic sect comprising 27 children and 38 adults living in catacomb-like cells underground.