Turkey extradited five Macedonian nationals arrested for planning to join the terrorist Islamic state, the Interior Ministry in Skopje said Saturday.
In cooperation with their Macedonian counterparts, Turkish police arrested the five Macedonians, aged 18-24, two weeks earlier in Istanbul. Several other people were also caught in the raid.
The extradited men were criminally charged and remain in custody, the ministry said. The country's law bans its citizens from joining foreign armies and paramilitary groups.
Over the past year, Macedonia sentenced 11 people who attempted to join Islamic State and has charged seven others, three of whom remain at large.
Macedonian authorities said that 25 citizens were killed fighting for Islamic State and estimated than another 50 are presently fighting for it.
The former Yugoslav republic has a large, predominantly Muslim ethnic Albanian minority, which makes up one-quarter of its 2 million inhabitants.