SAMARA, April 29. /TASS/. About 60 persons were detained on Friday in an underground prayer house of a Salafi Islamic cell in Samara, a city in the Middle Volga area, a spokesman for the regional department of the .
An improvised explosive device found in the same house was destroyed and samples of the blasting agent were taken away for an expert study.
"In the course of the operation at the site of gathering of a Salafi religious cell, some sixty people were detained," he said. "We had information on a number of individuals affiliated with the cell who are taking part in the armed conflict in Syria as paramilitaries."
A former member of the same cell, a resident of Samara, who is now a paramilitary in the ranks of the Islamic State terrorist grouping is known as a producer of a number of video clips uploaded in the Internet.
"The operatives found an improvised explosive device during the search in the building," the spokesman said. "Demolition engineers didn't manage to defuse it and had to demolish it on the spot."
"Also, they found extremist literature," he said. "About sixty persons were detained and taken to the Krasnoglinski district police department where police officers are questioning them over their possible involvement in the crime."
During the efforts to defuse and demolish the explosive, police fully fenced off a section of the M5 federal automobile road, as the building where the prayer house was located stands at a distance of a mere 30 meters away from the road.
The column of flame produced by the explosion was about 15 meters tall. The blast destroyed several annexes to the building.