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Canada arrests 10 young people seeking to join 'jihadist groups'

Canada has arrested 10 youths seeking to join the "Islamic State" at Montreal's airport. The arrests come a month after the country launched its first airstrikes against the group in Syria.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said Tuesday that it arrested 10 young people at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport and confiscated their passports after they were "suspected of wanting to leave the country to join jihadist groups."

The youths' family members met with police after being informed of the incident.

"The families and friends of the young persons have been met by investigators," the RCMP said in a statement.

The police did not disclose the identities or exact ages of those arrested and also asked the media to respect the families of those arrested.

"These are very difficult times for the relatives and loved ones of the persons arrested, as the decision to leave the country was not that of the family, but of a single family member. As a result, family members often find themselves at a complete loss and unable to understand the decision made by the youth," the police said.

The RCMP's anti-terror unit, Quebec provincial police and Montreal police took part in the operation, AP news agency reported.

While the statement did not name the "Islamic State," an official told AP news agency that they were believed to be en route to join the militant group in Iraq and Syria.

The RCMP did not provide details on how the information was obtained.

However,

Canada's parliament expanded its intelligence gathering agency's power

earlier this month in an alleged bid to combat terrorism.

The arrests come a month after

Canada launched its first airstrikes against "Islamic State" targets

.

ls/sms (AFP, AP)

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