The arrest of an online network accused of recruiting young women to join Isil comes as Europe tries tro halt a surge in young people travelling to the Middle East

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Spain has said it broke up an online network accused of recruiting young women to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants fighting in the Middle East and arrested four suspects on Tuesday.

The arrests came as European nations scramble to halt a surge in young people wanting to travel to Iraq and Syria to fight with the jihadists.

Two of the suspects were arrested in Melilla, the Spanish enclave neighbouring Morocco, in the latest operation by Spain’s authorities targeting such recruiting networks.

The others were detained in Girona and Barcelona in Spain’s northeast.

The two arrested in Melilla were said to be behind the creation and operation of several internet platforms spreading propaganda, particularly for Isil the interior ministry said in a statement.

“In line with the strategy of the Daesh terrorist group, they focused on the recruitment of women who, after a process of indoctrination, would end up joining the terrorist group in conflict zones,” it said, referring to the Arabic name for Isil.

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