Suspected jihadists arrested in Spain and Morocco

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Suspected jihadists arrested in Spain and Morocco

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Spanish and Moroccan police have arrested nine people suspected of belonging to a militant cell with links to the extremist group ISIL.

The nine – one Spaniard and eight Moroccans – were detained in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Spaniard, the alleged head of the cell, is said to have served in the Spanish army and to have been responsible for recruiting jihadists.

The arrests took place in the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the north African coast and at Nador in neighbouring Morocco.

Spain has detained dozens of suspected jihadists in recent years, especially in its two north African enclaves.

In August two Spanish women were detained in Melilla and accused of planning to enlist with ISIL in Iraq or Syria.

Those arrested on Friday are said to have coordinated training with groups linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) jihadists in northern Mali and to have worked with a weapons and explosives specialist.