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Two Britons arrested at Somali border by Kenyan police

media Al-Shabaab rebels in Mogadishu AFP/Topshots/Stringer

Two British citizens arrested by Kenyan police suspected of having ties to Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group are likely to be repatriated to the United Kingdom, Kenyan police told RFI on Tuesday.

The men, one of Somali descent, one of Pakistani decent, are being interrogated in Nairobi after being stopped in the border town of Kiunga, north of the Lamu archipelago.

“We have managed to confirm that one of them had earlier been reported missing by their family members in the United Kingdom. They came here as visitors on tourist visas,” said Charles Owino, Kenya’s deputy police spokesman.

Owino said the men were arrested on Sunday crossing into Somalia to “connect with Al-Shabaab”. He added that they were walking alone, with no apparent aim or intention, without any weapons or arms.

Charles Owino, deputy police spokesman 18/10/2011 Listen

When asked about the nature of the charges against them, Owino replied that they will probably not be charged, instead “mostly likely we are repatriating them back to UK”.

There have been two incidents of foreigners being kidnapped in the area in recent weeks. A French wheelchair-bound woman was snatched by gunmen from a resort near Lamu at the start of October.

According to a statement from the British foreign office, the two men are believed to be from the Welsh capital Cardiff, although their identities have yet to be formally confirmed.

“These persons are being detained under Kenyan law and the force is liaising with local law enforcement to establish the circumstances of their detention,” said the South Wales Police force.

The Kenyan military launched an offensive on Sunday against Al-Shabaab rebels in southern Somalia.

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