Germany Arrests 2 Suspected Islamic Extremists From Syria

Berlin (AP) -- German authorities arrested two Syrians suspected of fighting for extremist groups in their homeland, including one who allegedly administered a strategically important dam in eastern Syria for the Islamic State group, officials said Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors said that 30-year-old Abdulmalk A. and 23-year-old Mousa H. A. were arrested Tuesday in Berlin and the nearby state of Saxony-Anhalt, based on warrants issued last week. Their last names weren't provided in line with German privacy rules.

Both men allegedly joined the Nusra Front in 2012 to fight against the Syrian government, with Abdulmalk A. being given command of a unit in eastern Syria.

Prosecutors said that Abdulmalk A. is also suspected of committing a war crime, alleging the man "captured a sniper of the Syrian regime in spring 2013 near the city of Tabqa, forced him to dig his own grave and cut his throat."

Abdulmalk A., originally from Deir el-Zour, allegedly joined the Islamic State group in mid-2013 and was put in charge of the Euphrates dam near the city of Tabqa, prosecutors said.

It wasn't immediately clear when and how the men, who will appear before a judge Tuesday, came to Germany.

German authorities have arrested dozens of people suspected of taking part in fighting in Syria who entered Germany among a wave of refugees that arrived in the country over the past two years.

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This story has been corrected to show that the suspects were arrested Tuesday, not last week.

[Editor notes: Eds: Corrects timing of arrest to Tuesday, not last week.]

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