Walid Muallem
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid Muallem said four Indian youths who were planning to join Isis in Syria are in Damascus jail. Picture: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem attends a news conference after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, 29 June, 2015.Reuters

Syria has arrested four Indian youths who travelled to the middle eastern country to join the Isis, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid Muallem said.

"Four Indians were taken into Syrian custody in Damascus," PTI quoted Muallem, who is on a three-day visit to India, as saying on Wednesday. They "were planning to join the Isis and had entered Syria from Jordan," he added.

Muallem, who is also the Foreign Minister of Syria, did not give the identification and other details about the arrested men.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Syrian government has asked Indian authorities to come and see and take them back.

In the meantime, India brought up the issue of its at least 39 nationals abducted by Isis militants from Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014. Muallem reported expressed his inability to assist in their release as they are in Isis' captivity.

"I will try to secure their release if they are in the custody of Iraqi forces but won't be able to do anything if they are still in the custody of Isis," PTI quoted him as saying.

Last year, the United Arab Emirates had deported two Indians to Kochi, Kerala, on the suspicion that they were "radicalised and sympathetic" to Isis, the IE had reported. The Indian Intelligence Bureau had interrogated them and sent them for counselling. They were later allowed to return to their homes.

India has recently increased the vigilance to prevent Indian youths from getting influenced by the ideologies of the extremist militant group that is majorly active in parts of Syria and Iraq. In the last few months, Indian authorities have prevented many youths from travelling to Syria to join Isis.

The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and Telangana police had together arrested three cousin brothers at Nagpur airport in December last year. The men, from Hyderabad, had allegedly planned to join Isis in Syria, Hindustan Times had reported.

In the past, 23 Indian nationals reportedly joined the Islamic State group and six among them were reported to have been killed while fighting for the militant group.

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