NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan security forces have arrested two Iranian men on suspicion of planning attacks in Nairobi, the Interior Ministry and Kenyan media reported on Saturday.
The two men had planned to attack hotels in the Kenyan capital used by tourists, business executives and diplomats, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said, according to a report carried by the website of Kenya's Daily Nation.
Kenya has suffered from a series of attacks by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, a Sunni Muslim group that has said its assaults are aimed at driving Kenyan troops and other members of an African Union force out of Somalia.
There was no indication of any link to the latest arrests in the ministry statements. At least one of the Iranians was identified as a Shi'ite Muslim, the predominant sect in Iran.
"Two Iranians arrested by KE (Kenyan) security agencies with a plan to mount a terror attack in NBI (Nairobi). The plan was foiled and suspects arrested," the ministry wrote on Twitter.
An Interior Ministry official confirmed the report.
The ministry identified the two men as Abubakar Sadiq Louw, 69, describing him as a "senior figure" in the Nairobi Shi'ite community. It named the other as 25-year-old Yassin Sambai Juma, saying he was also from Nairobi and describing him as a "recruit".
The two men "have admitted to conspiring to mount terror attacks" in Kenya, the ministry added on Twitter.
Boinnet said Louw admitted to recruiting young Kenyans to spy and mount attacks, Daily Nation reported.
In 2013, two Iranian men were sentenced to life in prison by a Kenyan court for planning to carry out bombings in the country.
In 2014, a court ordered an Iranian man and woman held under anti-terrorism laws to serve two years in jail or pay a fine after admitting to using fake Israeli passports to enter Kenya. They had been detained on suspicion of planning an attack, but officials did not say if those suspicions were laid to rest.