Malaysia nabs 15 suspected IS members

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Fifteen suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) group, including a police officer, have been arrested across the country, Malaysian authorities said Thursday.

The move came shortly after deadly bomb attacks on Tuesday in Brussels that killed at least 31 people and injured about 300 others.

The suspects, aged between 22 and 49 years old and including 11 men and 4 women, were arrested in a series of raids earlier this week in Kuala Lumpur and several states in the country, according to a police statement.

Among them were a police officer and an airplane technician, police said.

The suspects were believed to be involved in a series of activities related to the IS, including arranging transit for foreign militants to another Southeast Asian country via Malaysia, collecting fund for a IS-affiliated group in southern Philippines and trying to collect materials to make bombs, police said.

They were also suspected of hacking government websites as well as recruiting members for IS in Malaysia, the statement added. The cell was receiving orders from a Malaysian IS member in Syria to launch attacks in Malaysia.

Malaysia has stepped up security following the deadly terrorist attack in Jakarta, Indonesia in January. Its leaders have joined international community in condemning the attacks in Brussels.

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