Germany monitoring 17 fighters returned from Syria

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BERLIN (AP) - German authorities say they are monitoring the activities of 17 Islamic extremists who have returned to Germany after fighting in Syria.

An Interior Ministry spokesman says about 230 people have traveled from Germany to Syria since the start of the uprising against the regime of Bashar Assad nearly three years ago.

Spokesman Jens Teschke told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that about 50 have returned, 17 of them with fighting experience. Several are converts to Islam.

European governments have expressed concern that battle-hardened Islamic extremists could carry out terrorist attacks upon their return.

Teschke says there is currently no legal basis for arresting those under surveillance and none appear to be planning attacks in Germany.

Daily Die Welt reported Wednesday that a 16-year-old Turkish-German extremists was recently killed in Syria.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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