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Minister admits Sri Lankans have joined terror group

Recruits for so-called Islamic State come from 'well-educated and elite' Muslim families

November 23, 2016

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More than 30 Sri Lankan Muslims have joined the so-called Islamic State in Syria, said Sri Lanka's justice minister who added that they came from well-educated families.

Speaking in parliament, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that 32 young Muslims from "well-educated and elite" families had joined the extremist group.

"All these [Muslims] are not from ordinary families. These people are from the families which are considered as well-educated and elite," Reuters reported Rajapakshe as saying.

Rajapakshe added that the authorities were aware of foreigners coming to Sri Lanka to spread what he described as Islamic extremism.

The justice minister's statement has been condemned by Muslim organizations who say it is racist politicking.

Muslims make up 10 percent of Sri Lanka's 20 million people.

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