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Some 7,000 nationals of ex-Soviet countries fight for Islamic State — FSB deputy chief

November 10, 2015, 12:27 UTC+3

The number of IS militants stood at some 80,000 in mid-2015

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© Islamic State militant website via AP

SOCHI, November 10. /TASS/. About 7,000 nationals of former Soviet republics are fighting for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, Yevgeny Sysoyev, deputy head of the Russian Federal Security (FSB), said on Tuesday.

"The number of IS militants stood at some 80,000 in mid-2015, including 50,000 in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq, which can be compared with armies of some countries," Sysoyev said at a security conference in Sochi.

"Among them about 30,000 are foreign terrorists. Most of them come from the Middle East and North Africa," he added.

About 7,000 people from ex-Soviet countries, including Russia, have joined the group," Sysoyev said.

The Islamic State is an terrorist group banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announce the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria.

Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.

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