Central Asian Kyrgyzstan warned its citizens Friday not to take part in foreign conflicts, amid some social media calls in the majority-Muslim country for men to go fight against Israel.
Kyrgyzstan — a mountainous country of seven million people — has authorised protests in support of Palestinians amid the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.
But its powerful GKNB security service said in a statement: “Against the backdrop of the Palestine-Israel armed conflict, there are some provocative posts, publications and comments from individual social media users about the need to commit jihad in Palestine.”
It warned of “criminal responsibility” for Kyrgyz citizens fighting in conflicts on foreign territory or undergoing “terrorist preparation”.
Kyrgyzstan has for months also warned its citizens not to go fight in Ukraine.
Like other Central Asian states, some Kyrgyz citizens went to fight in Syria and Iraq, including for Islamic State, between 2013 and 2015.
It has in recent years led an effort to bring back some 300 women and children — the families of Kyrgyz fighters in Syria and Iraq.
The Central Asian country also periodically announces the arrests of members of extremist religious groups.