PRISTINA Police in Kosovo said on Wednesday they had arrested 19 people in the past 10 days on suspicion of having links with Islamic state and planning to carry out attacks in Kosovo and in neighbouring Albania. Police said the suspects were in contact with an Islamic State member, the self-declared "commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq", Lavdrim Muhaxheri from whom they received orders to attack. "They were planning to commit terrorist attacks in Kosovo and also (an attack) against Israeli football team and their fans during the Albania-Israel match," Kosovo police said in a statement in the evening.
Albania moved a World Cup European qualifying match with Israel on Nov. 12 from the northern city of Shkoder to a venue near the capital Tirana because of fears of a possible attack by militants. Four people were arrested on terrorism charges.
At least 200 people have been detained or investigated in Kosovo over their alleged links with Islamic state in recent years. A total of 300 Kosovars went to Syria to fight alongside Islamic state troops and more than 50 have been killed there.
(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Ivana Sekularac and Richard Balmforth)
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