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Malaysian police round up suspected terrorists; unrelated to MH 370, police say

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 6:14 AM EDT, Tue May 6, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police are holding 11 people on suspicion of terrorist affiliations
  • They plan to make more arrests as a preemptive measure
  • Some of the arrests were made in a state bordering Thailand
  • Southern Thailand is plagued by separatist violence from ethnic Malay Muslim militants

(CNN) -- Police in Malaysia are holding 11 people on suspicion of involvement in a militant group responsible for planning acts of terror, police spokeswoman Asmawati Ahmad said Sunday.

There is no indication that the group, arrested last week, has any connection to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, she said.

The detainees are also suspected of having links to terrorists in other countries. Police plan to detain other suspects as a preemptive measure, Asmawati said.

The arrests were made in the city of Selangor, just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, and in the state of Kedah, which borders on Thailand.

The neighboring country has closed and closely monitored the border with that region of Malaysia in a crackdown on terrorism, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The violence in Thailand stems from ethnic Malay Muslim separatists. This year, they began targeting Thai Buddhist woman, killing them and mutilating their bodies, Human Rights Watch has reported.

CNN's Mitra Mobasherat contributed to this report

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